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.
Saturday Stakes Include Delta Mile
In addition to live action this Saturday at Parx Racing and Penn National, horse racing fans in the Keystone state will want to be watching the action the action from Delta Downs in Lousiana, where the afternoon card includes several top stakes events. Included in those will be the $150,000 Delta Mile Satkes, for three-year-olds and up racing on the dirt. Nine have been entered and are expected to go to the gate, including the only three-year-old in the field, the Ontario-bred Uncaptured, who finished third on a muddy track two starts back in the Grade III Smarty Jones at Parx.
Uncaptured is hoping it doesn't rain
Listed for this as the 7-2 second choice, Uncaptured also caught a sloppy track in his last start, the Grade II Indiana Derby, and finished fifth. Prior to that, however, he got the conditions he liked to win the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie. He also has a pair of second-place finishes in Grade III events this season. He’ll have to beat his elders, however, particularly in the form of Agent di Nozzo (5-2), who already has a stakes win at Delta after taking the Borgota Stakes in his second start this year.
Donoharm knows how to find the winner's circle
A longshot play on the bottom of the exotics might be Donoharm (6-1), who reeled off five straight wins in a run that lasted from late 2012 to earlier this year. In that streak was a win at Delta Downs in the Sam’s Town Stakes, followed by two more in the Fifth Season Stakes and the Essex Handicap, both at Oaklawn Park. In the first of those he defeated Skyring, who is entered this weekend in the Grade III River City Handicap at Churchill. Following those wins, Donoharm tried stepping up to graded stakes company himself, but was behind by open lengths in both the Razorback Handicap and the Texas Mile.
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.