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.
Seven Fillies and Mares Ready for $100,000 River Memories Stakes
On Saturday at Woodbine, the featured race is the 11th edition of the $100,000 River Memories Stakes. The race will be run at one mile on the turf and has attracted a field of seven fillies and mares.
Surtsey has been tabbed as the 2-1 morning line favorite for trainer Kevin Attard. Bred in Canada, the four-year-old daughter of Heatseeker (IRE) has earned two of her four career victories over the local turf. She was last seen winning the Avowal Stakes under Luis Contreras and they will team up again from the rail. Prior to that winning performance, she had struggled against graded stakes competition on the turf and was eighth and last on the main track at Mountaineer.
Dance Again looms large for Sam-Son Farm
Second choice at 3-1 is Dance Again, a four-year-old daughter of Awesome Again bred and owned by Sam-Son Farm. Trained by Malcolm Pierce, the bay filly will break from the outside under Patrick Husbands as she tries to earn her second win of the season. She was last seen finishing fifth in the Canadian (G2) and won an optional claiming race in June over the Woodbine lawn. She has won three of her fourteen starts, including a restricted state-bred stakes race.
Joy attempting to rebound after poor last out
Also in the field at morning line odds of 8-1 is Joy for trainer Graham Motion. Bred and owned by Dark Hollow Farm in Maryland, the four-year-old daughter of Pure Prize will be making her first start at Woodbine after finishing thirteenth in the Lady Baltimore Stakes at Laurel. Her lone win of the year came in the Perfect Sting Stakes at Belmont over the summer and she has won four of her eighteen outings. She will break from post position three under Emma-Jayne Wilson.
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.