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.
Presque Isle Downs Making its Own History
As one of the newest thoroughbred horse racing tracks in the US, Presque Isle Downs doesn’t have the storied history of the Twin Spires at Churchill or the fame attached to Santa Anita. But that’s not to say the track on the shores of Lake Erie doesn’t have anything to add to the story of horse racing. First opened in September 2007, Presque Isle was the first track in the country to build an all-weather track using Tapeta footing, a mixture of sand, rubber and fibers.
Early week and evening racing at Presque Isle
Live evening racing is offered at Presque Isle from May 12 to September 26, five-days a week, Sunday through Thursday, with the first post at 5:25. The track is also open for simulcast wagering from January through to the start of the live racing season. As a gaming destination, Presque Isle offers all the standard casino games, a half-dozen options for restaurants and bars, and has partnered with local hotels to provide discounts on accommodations.
Groupie Doll goes on to win at Breeders' Cup
On the track, the highlight of the racing season comes in early September, with the running of the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile for three-year-olds and upwards, followed the next day by the $400,000 Grade II Presque Isle Downs Master Stakes for fillies and mares. As an indication of the quality of runners that appear at Presque Isle, last year’s Presque Isle Masters winner, Groupie Doll, went on to capture the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, the sixth graded-stakes victory of her career.
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.