The Grade 2 $1.25 million Pennsylvania Derby features the two biggest names from the Triple Crown trail September 24 at Parx as a field of 12 gathers in one of the most intriguing betting races of the year.
$75,000 Arkansas Breeders' Stakes Headlines Oaklawn Card
The $75,000 Arkansas Breeders Stakes is the featured race on the Friday, March 27 card at Oaklawn Park, with ten state-bred horses set to contest the 1 1/16 mile event on the main track.
Trace Creek, the 8/5 morning line favorite, is dropping considerably in class for trainer Kenny McPeek after running in a pair of grade 3 stakes races on turf in his last two starts. The five year-old son of Harperstown finished second in the Grade 3 Connally Stakes at Sam Houston January 24 before running eighth in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap. Trace Creek has won 5 of 16 career starts, including 3 for 7 on dirt – all over the Oaklawn Park surface. McPeek connects with 18% of his turf to dirt starters. Regular jockey Chris Landeros will be aboard breaking from post four.
Filly in deeper waters
Pistolpackinpenny (4/1) acquitted herself nicely against state-bred fillies while winning a listed stakes race sprinting March 6 at Oaklawn, but will have to handle the added distance while facing the boys. In three career starts at the 1 1/16 mile distance, Pistolpackinpenny is winless in three starts. Regular jockey Jon Court takes the mount for trainer William Fires breaking from post seven.
Mallard's Bro with huge shot
Mallard’s Bro (7/2) could get overlooked in the wagering after being well-beaten over a sloppy track March 8 while facing listed stakes foes in a sprint race. The Al Cates trainee has been better routing throughout his career and may not have cared for the off-going. Ricardo Santana will ride breaking from post ten.
The $1 million Cotillion Stakes September 24 at Parx features a true clash of the titans as the six-horse field is headlined by the undefeated, five-time grade 1 winner Songbird who figures to face the most stern challenge of her career.
In a completely wide open renewal of the Presque Isle Mile September 18 at Presque Isle Downs, 13 runners including the also-eligible will contest the eight furlong trip over synthetic footing.
Champion Songbird is set to make her much-anticipated return to the races in the $200,000 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita on Saturday. The Grade 2 event will be run at a mile and a sixteenth and has attracted a field of seven.