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.
Mile Turf Features at Parx Racing Saturday Afternoon
A field of nine, along with three horses entered for the main track only, will compete on Saturday at Parx Racing in a $25,000 allowance/optional claiming race to be run at one mile on the turf. The race is for three-year-olds and upward, vying for a $46,000 purse.
The 5-2 morning line favorite is I'll Call, a four-year-old gelded son of Smart Strike. He hails from the barn of Graham Motion and will be ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, carrying the familiar green and white silks of owner and breeder George Strawbridge's Augustin Stable. He will be making his first start of the year and was last seen winning an off the turf allowance race at Churchill Downs last November. He has been on the board in seven of his eight starts with one win on turf.
Another in the Kitten family has held a hot hand in recent starts
Second choice on the morning line at 7-2 is Brickyard Kitten, a son of Kitten's Joy trained by Jason Servis. Jorge A. Vargas, Jr. will remain aboard after piloting the four-year-old gelding to his third career victory against allowance competition on the turf at Pimlico last time out. He has been on the board in his last four starts and had won two of his last three races. He is wheeling back on just over two weeks rest after winning on June 6.
Entry includes one with outstanding pedigree
Also in the field is the regally-bred longshot After the Bell. The five-year-old son of top sire Empire Maker is out of Grade 1 winning mare and stakes producer Rings a Chime. He was last seem winning an allowance race that was taken off the turf at Penn National on June 5. He has been tabbed at 10-1 for trainer Marya Montoya as part of an entry with Rincon Sur (ARG) and will be ridden by Kerwin Clark.
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.