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.
Pennsylvania Derby Picks and Preview
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.
Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist (5/2) will try to rebound from consecutive defeats after beginning his career with eight straight wins. Word from trainer Doug O"Neill's camp is that the star colt will be more relaxed early, instead of sprinting to the lead as he did in the Preakness and Haskell Stakes. It should also be noted that Nyquist's only two career losses came over sloppy racetracks to Exaggerator (9/2).
Exaggerator has some of the biggest wins of the year on the three year-old circuit, but has run poorly in each of his last two starts over a dry track, finishing eleventh in both the Belmont Stakes and Travers. Exaggerator did finish second to Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby over a fast track, but bettors should be cautious before taking a short price. The lightly-raced Summer Revolution (8/1) makes his first start around two turns after an even fourth-place effort in a fast running of the Grade 1 King's Bishop. The Rudy Rodriguez trainee is a son of the distance-oriented Summer Bird and should appreciate the extra ground.
OTB PA Picks
1) #3 Summer Revolution
2) #9 Nyquist
3) #12 Hit it Once More
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.
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.