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.
Big Feat Hits Second Big Upset
It all seems so obvious now – Big Feat simply likes to run around two turns. After going winless in seven tries to start his career in shorter distances, the Pennsylvania-bred son of Mutakddim finally broke his maiden on July 16, 2013 when he won a 1 1/8 miles special weight event on the Parx Racing Turf, where he was a 47-1 longshot (and part of a triactor that produced a payoff of more than $17,000). This past Saturday, he did it again.
Goes wire-to-wire in the Crowd Pleaser Handicap
Running in the first stakes race of his career, Big Feat went to the early lead in the $75,000 Crowd Pleaser Handicap for Penn-breds at Parx, and proceeded to make every pole a winning one in the 1 1/16 miles turf race. Setting slow fractions throughout, Big Feat simply would not let any of his six rivals come any closer than a length right to the top of the stretch, where he eased away under Josean Ramirez to win by 1 ½ lengths at odds of 15-1.
Madrilena sprints to stakes victory
Also on Saturday at Parx, the six-year-old mare Madrilena notched the first stakes win of her career, with a score in the $75,000 Power By Far Handicap, a five-furlong sprint on the turf, also restricted to Penn-breds. Driving to the lead out of post #3, Madrilena was able to open up by as much as two lengths on the field, and then hold on to take the photo by a nose. It was the fifth win in her 14 career starts, and her first stakes try since finishing second in the Russian Rhythm Stakes at Penn National one year ago.
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.