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The field for the Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion Stakes on Saturday September 21, at Parx Racing is led by the undefeated filly, Guarana (9-5). Trained by Chad Brown, the Ghostzapper filly burst on to the scene with an eye catching performance in her career debut, winning a special weight at Keeneland by fourteen and three-quarter lengths.
Moving immediately to Grade 1 company, she came right back to win the Acorn at Belmont, this time flashing home six lengths in front. She then made it three for three, holding off Point of Honor, winning by a length in the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks.
Race 10 at Parx Racing on Saturday, September 21 - Post 5:14 PM
|1||Serengeti Empress||7-2||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|Uriah St. Lewis|
|3||Street Band||8-1||Sophie Doyle
|5||Collegeville Girl||20-1||Angel Castillo
|7||She Makes Me Smile||50-1||Wesley Torres
|9||Sweet Sami D||20-1||Paco Lopez
A number of accomplished fillies will be looking to hand Guarana her first defeat including last year's two year-old filly champion and this year's Kentucky Oaks winner.
Trainer John Servis will send out Jaywalk. The Cross Traffic filly finished her 2018 season with wins in the G1 Frizette and the G1 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies, victories that propelled her to an Eclipse Award. A bit out of sorts after moving to Florida at the start of the year, she flashed her brilliance again after coming back north and winning the G3 Delaware Oaks. She'll be coming from her own stall at her home track for a trainer that knows how to win big races.
Serengeti Empress wowed everyone last year with a double digit victory in the Ellis Park Debutante and then went to Churchill and won the G2 Pocahontas by an astounding 19 ¾ lengths. Her only subpar effort this year was when she bled in the G2 Fair Grounds Oaks. She's won the G2 Rachel Alexandra and the G1 Kentucky Oaks and has run second in the G1 Acorn and G1 Test.
Her defeat in the Acorn came at the hands of Guarana, but that was a one turn mile and she was hounded through blazing fractions yet still manage to stay on to be a clear second. Trainer Tom Amoss hopes the Alternation filly can land her second Grade 1 win of the year.
A terrific undercard is topped by the $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes, a six furlong sprint for three year-olds. Having been upgraded last fall, it will be run as a Grade 2 race for the first time.
Four other stakes will be contested on the giant Saturday program. State-breds square off in the $100,000 Alphabet Soup on the turf at one mile and one-sixteenth and the $100,000 Plum Pretty Stakes for fillies and mares on the main track at that same distance. The $150,000 Turf Amazon pits lady sprinters on the grass at five furlongs. Rounding it out is the $150,000 Parx Dirt Mile.
For the first time, the Cotillion and Pennsylvania Derby will be broadcast to a national audience, the races covered by NBC from 5:00 to 6:00PM. The card on Saturday will have 13 races with a post time of 12:25PM. Gates will open to the public at 11AM. Cotillion post time is scheduled for 5:12PM. PA Derby post time is set for 5:50PM.
The Cotillion is part of the Breeders' Cup Win and You're In Series for the Longines Distaff, and will be shown nationally for the first time as part of NBC's coverage beginning at 5pm EST.
Among the top contenders will be last year's Eclipse Award winning Champion 2-year-old filly, Jaywalk, who will make just the second start over the track she calls home since breaking her maiden by 7 1/2 lengths over the mud at Parx in July over a ago in her second career start. From there she remained perfect under the colors of DJ Stables and the hands of trainer John Servis by adding the $50,000 White Clay Creek Stakes at Delaware Park to her resume before impressively wiring the field in both the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont and her season ending 5 1/2 length victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs.
The Kentucky-bred by Cross Traffic didn't begin her second year as strong by finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Davona Dale at Gulstream that was followed by a third place finish in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland. Jaywalk finished sixth in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, but then rebounded with a nine length score in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks at Delaware Park before her game second to Horologist in the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks at Monmouth Park on August 17. Jaywalk, with earnings of $1,653,500 through 10 career starts would give trainer John Servis his second Cotillion victory since Jostle in 2000.
Three Chimneys Farm plans to send their undefeated filly Guarana who would make just her fourth career start in the Cotillion. The Chad Brown-trained filly by Ghostzapper beat nine others at first asking while sprinting over a sloppy track at Keeneland. Her 14 3/4 length margin of victory sent her to a start in the Grade 1 Acorn on the Belmont Stakes Day undercard where she scored easily by six lengths. The Kentucky-bred then tried two turns in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga, and wired the field of five by a length at the wire.
Kaleem Shah's Bellafina began her 3-year-old campaign already a multiple Grade 1 winner, and kicked off her sophomore season by rattling off three straight victories for trainer Simon Callaghan beginning with an 8 1/2 length score in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez at Santa Anita. She then captured the Grade 2 Los Virgines and the Santa Anita Oaks before tiring to fifth in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. The filly by Quality Road returned three months later in the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga and finished third behind winner Covfefe and Serengeti Empress. For the latter it was the second straight runner-up finish after failing to catch runaway Guarana in the Acorn.
The John Politi owned Serengeti Empress is set to bring her competitive speed with her to the Cotillion for trainer Tom Amoss. The filly by Alternation began the year with a front-running score in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds, but then stopped suddenly in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks and was vanned off before it was later determined that she bled. She then was saddled for a start in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, and never looked back taking the field from gate to finish proving that she returned to her winning ways. The Kentucky-bred won her first graded stakes as a 2-year-old by taking the Grade 2 Pochahontas at Churchill Downs by 19 1/2 lengths in front-running fashion. She closed out the year with a seventh place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Street Band will make her third attempt at winning her first Grade 1 race for trainer Larry Jones after finishing third in the Alabama at Saratoga on August 17. The filly by Istan, part owned by Jones, his wife Cindy, Ray Francis, Medallion Racing and MyRaceHorse Stable finished seventh in the Kentucky Oaks, but bookended that race with victories in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks and Grade 3 Indiana Oaks respectively. Street Band won her first start at Ellis Park as a 2-year-old, then failed to return to the winners' circle in her next three starts against allowance level competition. She started off her 3-year-old year with an allowance victory before finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra.
Others nominated to the Cotillion are: Afleet Destiny for owner Trin-Brook Stables and trainer Uriah St. Lewis; Arrifana for owners Gunpowder Farms LLC, Millennium Farms, Gainesway Stable and LNJ Foxwoods and trainer Kelly Rubley; Collegeville Girl for owners Robert Brittingham, Wire to Wire Stable Inc. Et Al and trainer Richard Vega; Dunbar Road for owner Peter Brant and trainer Chad Brown; Fashion Faux Pas for owners Denlea Farm and Kent Spellman and trainer Arnaud Delacour; Horologist for owner There's a Chance Stable and trainer John Mazza; Jeltrin for owner and trainer Alexis Delgado; She Makes Me Smile for owner Candy's Racing Stable and trainer Trevor Gallimore and Sweet Sami D for owners ABL Stable, Dominic Bossone, Patrick Donnelly, Jacob Schnoor and W. Oberdorf and trainer Patrick McBurney.
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