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.
Room Service Scores First Stakes Win
Trailing by as much as eight lengths as the field reached the six furlong marker in the $100,000 Grade III Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream Park Saturday, jockey Joel Rosario was right where he wanted to be. Hoping for a quick pace up front in the three-year-old filly 1 1/8 miles on the turf feature, he had got exactly that, and had plenty of horse left when he asked Room Service to go entering the second turn. The daughter of More Than Ready responded quickly, sweeping past the field and running down favored Candy Kitty to win by two lengths.
Winner looked to want to go the distance
Fourth choice in the betting at 6-1, Room Service came into the race after rallying late to get up for third last time out in the one-mile Sweetest Chant Stakes also at Gulfstream, giving every indication she was ready to go longer. Candy Kitty, at 2-1 following a pair of minor stakes wins, had no excuses, as she raced in good position throughout and had every chance to separate from the field coming out of the turn. Seeking Her Glory (6-1) set the early pace on the rail and hung on for third.
Room Service well-traveled in short career
Room Service now runs her record to two wins, a second and two thirds in five lifetime starts, having broken her maiden first out in September at Kentucky Downs before running at Churchill and now Gulfstream. It was her first stakes win in two tries. Candy Kitty picked up her second, second-place finish in eight career starts to go along with three wins and a third, but she is now winless in two attempts at a graded-stakes score.
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.