OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby will be contested Saturday, September 24 at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. A generous purse of $1.25 million will be on the line for an impressive group of three year olds willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Parx's dirt.
A full field of 12 will take to the track in the Pennsylvania Derby - race 11 on Parx's stacked Saturday card. Here is a look into the past performances of all 12 combatants for this intriguing and lucrative Grade 2 stakes.
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Nyquist 5-2 - The runaway winner of the Eclipse Award for 2-year-old-male looked unstoppable early in his career for trainer Doug O'Neill - his realistic Triple Crown aspirations were derailed two starts back with a third behind Exaggerator in the Preakness Stakes May 21 - a race that was followed by a career-worst effort - a fourth last time out behind Exaggerator again in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park July 31. He sat out the Belmont Stakes. Nyquist won his first eight career starts (seven graded stakes) including the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/4 lengths, by 1 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita February 15, the Grade 1 Florida Derby April 2, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, the 2015 Grade 1 Frontrunner Stakes and the 2015 Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. He was untouchable before his last two starts and looks for a strong bounce back from post 9 Saturday. Mario Gutierrez will ride the intriguing morning line favorite.
Exaggerator 9-2 - Desormeaux trained colt has six wins, three runner-ups and a third place finish in 14 career starts. He arrives off an ugly eleventh in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga August 27 after a nice win in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park July 31 and another disappointing eleventh as favorite in the Belmont Stakes June 11. Before that was a terrific win - by 3 1/4 lengths in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes May 21, a good second behind Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby, a nice win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 9, an OK third in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes March 12 and a runner-up finish behind Nyquist in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes February 15. He's also posted a good win with a 103 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 3 $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot November 21, a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a respectable second in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October and a nice win in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in August. Exaggerator has been a tad tough to figure out lately - one win and a pair of elevenths in his last three starts overall and will be out to bounce back on a likely unfavorable dry track from gate 2 Saturday. Kent Desormeaux has been tabbed to ride.
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Cupid 5-1 - Bob Baffert trained colt has four wins and a runner-up finish in eight career starts. He enters this week on a good two race win streak - the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby last time out at Mountaineer August 6 and the Grade 2 Indiana Derby July 16. The wins followed two unflattering results - a fifth in the minor Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park June 11 and a tenth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in April. He also had a good win in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes in March. Cupid has won three of five graded stakes tries. Off two straight wins, he figures to be in the conversation Saturday with Rafael Bejarano in the irons from post 5.
Gun Runner 6-1 - Steve Asmussen trained colt was tops in the Road to the Kentucky Derby Standings last year. He had five career starts prior to the Run for the Roses with four wins - two straight wins ahead of the Derby - the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby March 26 and the Risen Star Stakes February 2- both results at Fair Grounds. He finished a respectable third in the Derby and recorded a win in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes after that at Churchill Downs June 16. He has two starts since - an OK third last time out in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga August 27 followed a career-worst outing - a fifth in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park July 31. Gun Runner now has five wins and two third place finishes in nine career starts and will be out to snap a two race losing streak. Florent Geroux has been scheduled to ride from post 7.
Summer Revolution 8-1 - has just three career starts for trainer Rudy Rodriguez with two good wins. He made his stakes debut last time out and finished a somewhat disappointing fourth in the Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga August 27. Before that was an Allowance score August 8 at Saratoga and a maiden score at first asking - at Belmont Park July 4. Summer Revolution was impressive in his first two starts and will chase his first stakes win from post 3 Saturday with Mike Smith in the irons.
Awesome Slew 10-1 - Edward Plesa trained colt has six career starts with three nice wins and a third place finish. Last time out was a career best result - a dominating seven length win in the Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes on this very track September 5. Before that was a sixth in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park July 31, an OK third in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park June 19 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score on that track May 21. He also had an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga last July and a maiden score at first asking on June, 2015. Awesome Slew will be after his second straight graded stakes win from the rail Saturday. Paco Lopez rides.
Sunny Ridge 12-1 - Jason Servis trained gelding finished seventh in the Grade 3 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga last July and has been OK since. He was last seen running an OK third in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park July 31 after a slightly disappointing fourth in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct in March, an impressive win in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes on that track January 30, a second behind Exaggerator in the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot November 21, another second in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park in August and a win in the minor $100,000 Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park September 6. Sunny Ridge has looked good in his first five starts and will be out to avenge two uncharacteristic outings when he leaves from gate 10 with Joe Bravo guiding him.
Connect 12-1 - lightly raced colt has three wins and a third place finish in five career starts for trainer Chad Brown. He made his graded stakes debut August 27 and finished sixth in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga after a good win in the minor Curlin Stakes on that track July 29, an Allowance score at Belmont Park June 11 and a maiden score on that same track in May. Connect has won three of his last four starts overall but failed to fire in his only graded stakes action to date. Javier Castellano will try to change all of that from gate 4 Saturday.
Hit It Once More 20-1 - has placed in seven of 10 career starts for trainer Gary Sciacca - four wins, a second and two third place finish. He makes his graded stakes debut on a decent two race win streak - both minor stakes. Last time out was in the Albany Stakes at Saratoga August 26 and before that was in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes July 23. He had a fourth in the Easy Goer Stakes in June and two more wins before that in the spring. Hit It Once More has won four of his last five starts overall and looks ready for his step up in competition Saturday. Kendrick Carmouche has the mount from the outside gate 12.
Wild About Deb 20-1 - lightly raced Ramon Preciado trained colt has a win, two seconds and a third place finish in five career starts. He enters off a respectable second behind Awesome Slew in the Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes on this track September 5 after a seventh in the minor Ohio Derby, a decent third in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes May 14, a maiden score in April and a second in his debut in November. Wild About Deb chases his first stakes score Saturday from gate 6. Tiago Josue Pereira gets the call.
My Man Sam 20-1 - Chad Brown trained colt has a win and three second place finishes in seven career starts. He made his stakes debut April 9 and finished second in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 9 and followed that with an eleventh in the Kentucky Derby. He has just two starts since - a eighth last time out in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga August 27 followed a second in an Allowance July 23. He also had a runner-up finish in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Aqueduct March 6, a maiden score on that track January 31 and a fifth in his debut December 19. My Man Sam has been just OK so far in his career and will be after his first stakes win Saturday with Julien Leparoux in the irons from gate 8.
Discreet Lover 30-1 - Uriah Lewis trained colt has two wins, four seconds and two third place finishes in 16 career starts. He enters off a disappointing eighth in the Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes on this track September 15 which followed an Allowance score here August 2, another eighth in his only graded stakes action to date - the Grade 3 Indiana Derby July 16, an OK third in the minor Ohio Derby, a fifth in the Sir Barton Stakes May 21 and a decent second in the minor Parx Derby May 7. Discreet Lover has been inconsistent to say the least and has placed in one of his last three starts overall. He departs from post 11 Saturday with Jose Luis Flores in the irons.
2016 Pennsylvania Derby Entries & Odds
Race 11 on Parx Racing's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:45 PM.
|1||Awesome Slew||10-1||Paco Lopez||Edward Plesa, Jr.|
|2||Exaggerator||9-2||Kent Desormeaux||J. Desormeaux|
|3||Summer Revolution||8-1||Mike Smith||Rudy Rodriguez|
|4||Connect||12-1||Javier Castellano||Chad Brown|
|5||Cupid||5-1||Rafael Bejarano||Bob Baffert|
|6||Wild About Deb||20-1||Tiago Pereira||Ramon Preciado|
|7||Gun Runner||6-1||Florent Geroux||Steven Asmussen|
|8||My Man Sam||20-1||Julien Leparoux||Chad Brown|
|9||Nyquist||5-2||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill|
|10||Sunny Ridge||12-1||Joe Bravo||Jason Servis|
|11||Discreet Lover||30-1||Jose Flores||Uriah St. Lewis|
|12||Hit It Once More||20-1||Kendrick Carmouche||Gary Sciacca|