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.
Wedding Toast, Curalina Square Off in Beldame
The Grade 1 $400,000 Beldame Stakes for fillies and mares September 26 at Belmont Park has drawn a field of six, but offers a glimpse of top Breeders Cup Distaff contender Wedding Toast as she makes her final scheduled prep in the mile and an eighth event on the main track.
Wedding Toast, the 6/5 morning line favorite, enters with back to back graded stakes wins over the Belmont oval, including a grade 1 score in the Ogden Phipps June 6. The Kiaran McLaughlin runner has won 7 of 11 career starts to go with two seconds and a third and enters the Beldame in the best form of her career. The daughter of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense will break from post 2 under jockey Jose Lezcano.
Three year-old star tackles elders
Three year-old grade 1 winner Curalina will serve as the main rival breaking from the rail as she tries to rebound from a third-place effort in the Grade 1 Alabama last out. Prior to that effort, the Todd Pletcher- trained filly won back to back grade 1’s at Saratoga in the Acorn and Coaching Club American Oaks. Curalina has won 4 of 6 starts for earnings of $726,800.
Catch My Drift a cut below
Catch My Drift (5/1) will likely need a subpar race from both of the top two in order to factor for the win, but remains a strong candidate to hit the board after winning the Summer Colony Stakes in her last start August 24 for trainer Chad Brown.
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.