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.
Diverse Cast Assembles in $110 K Rapid Transit
Like many of the races on the December 5 Claiming Crown card at Gulfstream Park, the $110,000 Rapid Transit shapes up to be an excellent betting race with 11 former sellers set to tackle seven furlongs on the main track.
The wickedly fast three year-old gelding Trouble Kid is the 9/5 morning line favorite after capturing his fifth victory in a row with a last-out score in the $350,000 DeFrancis Memorial November 14 at Laurel Park. Prior to that effort, the Ramon Preciado trainee reeled off consecutive wins in the Grade 3 Gallant Bob and Valley Forge Stakes. The only question mark surrounding Trouble Kid is the seven furlong distance - as each victory in the winning streak has been at six furlongs or shorter.
Dude gets another crack
Stallwalkin' Dude (7/2) was a troubled fourth behind Trouble Kid in the DeFrancis and was making up ground despite being beaten by 3 1/4-lengths. The David Jacobson trainee is better than he showed in that effort and could present plenty of problems for the favorite with a clean trip. With multiple Beyer Speed Figures exceeding 100 in his past performances, Stallwalkin' Dude has consistently posted faster numbers than any runner in the field. Javier Castellano will ride breaking from post 7.
Grande Shores always tough at GP
Grande Shores (9/2) is somewhat of a short price considering the level of competition in the field, but the seven year-old gelding has an affinity for the Gulfstream surface (4-8-3 in 19 starts) and the seven furlong distance (5-4-3 in 14 starts). Starting from post 11 with Eddie Zayas aboard, Grande Shores could work out a comfortable stalking or closing trip depending on the early fractions.
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.