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.
Lenape Rim, Roadhog Take Stakes Wins
A pair of stakes races going one mile on the Tapeta surface highlighted the weekend of racing action at Presque Isle Downs First up as race five in the nine race card on Saturday was the $75,000 Northern Fling Stakes, for Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares aged three-and-up. That one was followed three races later by the Leematt Stakes, which also offered a purse of $75,000 for Pennsylvania-bred three year olds. The Northern Fling drew a field of nine, while the Leematt had a full gate of 12.
Lenape Rim runs down favorite in the lane
In the Northern Fling, 7-1 shot Lenape Rim, with jockey William Otero in the irons, stayed close to the pace throughout the early going tracking the favorite Lotta Lovin and jockey Pablo Morales through realtivly slow early fractions. Asked of run at the quarter-pole, Lenape Rim eventually wore down the leader in deep stretch, and was in an all-out drive to win by a neck. Lotta Lovin’ finished second, while Sixth and Arch was another head back. In winning her second straight stakes race, Lenape Rim picked up her eighth victory in 24 lifetime starts.
Karamanos sits chilly behind speed duel
In the Leematt, Roadhog benefitted from a patient ride by jockey Horacio Karamanos to take the top spot. After breaking in the middle of the pack, Karamanos tucked the six-year-old Bowman’s Band gelding close behind a speed duel between the favorite, Traffic Light, and Ryan’s Gift. Karamanos took Roadhog three-wide around the leaders on the far turn, gained the lead at the top of the stretch and pulled away to win by a comfortable four lengths. It was the first win in four tries this year for Roadhog, who now has seven wins in 25 career starts.
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.