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.
Rescheduled $200,000 Swale Stakes Draws Field of Eight
On Saturday at Gulfstream Park, the stakes action kicks off with the $200,000 Swale Stakes. The Grade 2 race, carded at seven-furlongs, was rescheduled after torrential rain forced the track to cancel racing on February 28.
Topping the field eight as the morning line favorite at odds of 4-5 is Daredevil for trainer Todd Pletcher. A chestnut son of More Than Ready purchased for $260,000 as a yearling, he has won two of his three career starts including the Champagne Stakes (G1) as a juvenile. He has been on the shelf since finishing eleventh and last in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and has been training forwardly for his first start of the year. He will break from the rail under jockey Javier Castellano.
X Y Jet trying to earn first stakes victory
Second choice at 4-1 on the morning line is X Y Jet for trainer Jorge Navarro. A gelded son of Kantharos, he has been on the board in six of his eight starts and is trying to earn the second victory and first stakes win of his career. He was second last time out in the Hutcheson Stakes (G3) after setting the early pace. Jesus Rios, aboard for his maiden win in November, will be back aboard from post position three.
Bluegrass Singer cutting back to a sprint
Also in the field at morning line odds of 8-1 is Bluegrass Singer for trainer Marcus Vitali. A gelded son of Bluegrass Cat, he has won three of his nine career starts and is trying to rebound after finishing sixth in the Fountain of Youth (G2) on February 21. Edgar Prado, who piloted him to an optional claiming victory in December, will be back in the irons from post position eight.
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.