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.
Kobe's Back Tries For San Vincente
A tough field of six are expected to go to the gate on Sunday afternoon at Gulfstream Park for the $200,000 Grade II San Vincente Stakes for three-year-olds running seven furlongs on the dirt. First choice in the morning line at 2-1-is Kobe’s Back, a Kentucky-bred trained by John Sadler. Although cutting back to a sprint, Kobe’s Back will use the race to try and get back on the trail of a Kentucky Derby start. Considered a good Derby candidate when racing as juvenile, his stock slipped after a tenth-place finish last out in the Grade I Cash Call Futurity at 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park.
Second choice comes in off big upset
Prior to that, he had made a notable splash to begin his career, winning first time out in a minor stakes race at Hollywood Park, and then running second in the Grade III Hollywood Prevue Stakes behind Derby contender Shared Belief. Second choice in the morning line at 5-2 is another Kentucky bred in Cherubim, who earns a lot of respect off a second-start maiden win last time out at Santa Anita, where he bested the field by more than three lengths at 21-1.
Papa Turf has been a stakes contender
Third choice in the ML at 9-2 is Roger Rocket, who was unraced at two, and made his maiden start a month ago, coming from off the pace to go four wide and get up for a head win at Santa Anita. Although with out a stakes win, Papa Turf (4-1) has the most racing experience in the field. He was fourth behind Kobe’s Back in the Hollywood Prevue, and most recently ran second in the San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita, in a race where the winner clocked a sizzling 1:08.80 over the six furlongs.
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.