Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Parx Racing in Philadelphia, PA is the scene of two $1 million stakes races this Saturday, September 22, the second being the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby. Three year olds will be after the enormous purse when they race one and one eighth miles on Parx's main dirt track.

A field of eight will line up in the Pennsylvania Derby. It is race 11 on Parx's Saturday card - right after the Grade 1 Cotillion. Post time is 6:16 PM. Here is a look at all eight combatants and what brought them to a lucrative Grade 2 event that features an intriguing rematch between two colts that dead-heated in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes on August 25.

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2012 Pennsylvania Derby Race Favorites

Alpha - finished second to Gemologist in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial in April after two straight wins - the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on February 4 and the Count Fleet Stakes in January. Alpha had a disappointing Kentucky Derby finishing twelfth but bounced back with an impressive win in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes on July 28 and a win in a dead heat in last month's Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Alpha has shaken an ugly Kentucky Derby and enters the Pennsylvania in very good form.

Golden Ticket - has two wins and four seconds in his last seven starts with the most impressive result being a win in that dead-heat last time out in the Grade 1 Travers. Other good results include a second in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 10 ahead of Bourbon Courage and Hansen and a win in a Maiden Special Weight before that at Gulfstream on February 2.

Pennsylvania Derby 2012 | Remaining Field Entries

Macho Macho - Steve Asmussen colt has placed in six of seven career starts - his career debut being the only blemish. Last time out was an impressive win in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer on August 2 to follow a second in the minor Long Branch Stakes and a third in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 16.

Casaba - is expected to set the pace for the Pennsylvania Stakes and had placed in four straight starts before an ugly ninth last time out in the Equalize Stakes at Saratoga August 30. Before that disappointing result he has a second in the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga August 10 and a win in the El Kaiser Stakes at Calder on July 21.

Pennsylvania Derby betting at Parx Racing with

Stephanoatsee - has two wins and two seconds in five career starts and is coming off an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Delaware Park on August 15. Her only graded stakes action resulted in a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct back in November.

Handsome Mike - has just one win in nine career starts - a Maiden Special Weight score at Santa Anita in October. Handsome Mike started 2012 with a fourth in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes, followed it with a third in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby in February and has a string of three fourth place finishes in her last three graded stakes races - the Grade 3 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at Turfway back in March, the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth and the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes last time out at Arlington Park.

Casual Trick - Casual trick finished an impressive second at the Gulfstream Park Derby on New Year's Day but followed that up with a disappointing eighth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream on January 29. She does come into the Pennsylvania Stakes having won two straight Allowance races on this track but may be out of her league in this one.

Junebugred - won the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn in January to follow a Maiden Special Weight score at Aqueduct in November. Since then Junebugred has posted a distant sixth in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes in February and a seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Saratoga after a five and a half month layoff and an OK fourth last time out in the Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes here on September 3.

2012 Pennsylvania Derby Entries & Odds

Race 11 on Parx Racing's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:16 PM.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Stephanoatsee S. Russell H. Motion
2 Casual Trick S. Elliott N. Zito
3 Handsome Mike I. Ortiz, Jr. L. Mora
4 Alpha R. Dominguez K. McLaughlin
5 Junebugred A. Cintron S. Hobby
6 Golden Ticket D. Cohen K. McPeek
7 Csaba R. Maragh P. Gleaves
8 Macho Macho C. Nakatani S. Asmussen

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