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.
Malvern Rose Offers Interesting Choice
It’s shaping up to be a contrast in styles for two of the favorites in the $75,000 Malvern Rose Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred three-year-old fillies, set to go on Sunday at Presque Isle Downs. The race, which goes 1 1/16 miles on the Tapeta surface, has drawn a field of six, including Cat’s Holiday, an off-the-pace style of runner, and Emerald Bracelet, who has shown a liking for winning from the front. Cat’s Holiday has an allowance score at Presque Isle to her credit, while Emerald Bracelet will be making her Presque Isle debut.
Cat's Holiday looking for consistancy
For Cat’s Holiday, a daughter of multiple graded-stakes winner Harlan’s Holiday, it’s been a case of all-or-nothing so far in her six-race career. After breaking her maiden first time out at Tampa Bay Downs in early January, she finished up the track in her next two tries, won an allowance event at Presque Isle in May, and has been out of the money in two races since, including a fourth-place finish most recently in the Grade III Virginia Oaks. In both her wins, she stalked close to the pace and took command at the top of the stretch.
Emerald Bracelet plays catch me if you can
Emerald Bracelet, meanwhile, got off to a slow start in her racing career, only breaking her maiden the fifth time out. Since then, she has won three of her last four races, and finished third in the other, although she has yet to try stakes’ company. All of her wins have come from being on the lead throughout and drawing off, winning by 10-lengths two starts back. All of her racing has been done at Penn National, and so the question is how she will handle the synthetic surface of Presque Isle.
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.