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.
Met Mile to Draw Star-Studded Field on Belmont Undercard
With the prestigious Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap included as part of the Belmont Stakes undercard June 11 at Belmont Park, there are plenty of appealing reasons for bettors to tune in early.
Usually an exceptional betting race, the one-mile event is expected to draw another stellar field led by graded stakes winner Frosted, who finished second behind American Pharoah in last year’s Belmont Stakes. The four year-old son of Tapit will be making his first start since finishing fourth in the Dubai World Cup in March and has reportedly worked well over the last two months at Belmont Park. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee projects as a late runner in the one-turn mile and will benefit if the early pace is solid.
Marking also has live look for McLaughlin
McLaughlin will also saddle the speedy Marking who has also worked steadily at Belmont Park after a disappointing effort in the Godolphin Mile on the Dubai World Cup undercard in March. The son of Bernardini was last seen stateside finishing a find second to Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Run Happy in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes December 26 at Santa Anita.
Class abounds despite scratch
Multiple grade 1 winner Mshawish was expected to start in the Met Mile before the announcement of his retirement June 4. Grade stakes winners Noble Bird, Upstart and Anchor Down are all expected to compete along with a host other of other probable starters in what should be an excellent betting race.
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.