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2019 Pennsylvania Derby Workouts

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The grandstand at Parx on Thursday Morning
Date: 09/19/2019

The highlight of the Parx Racing season is Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and Cotillion (G1) day, this year taking place on Saturday September 21. Conditions were excellent during training hours, with clear skies both Wednesday and Thursday with temperatures in the mid 60's The Derby features some of the best 3-year-olds of the east going 1 1/8 miles on the main track, while the Cotillion is its distaff counterpart, for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles, and both races have $1 million purses. The undercard includes the $300,000 Gallant Bob (G2) for three-year-old sprinters at 6 furlongs, the $150,000 Turf Amazon Stakes for older fillies and mares sprinting 5 furlongs on the turf, the $150,000 Parx Dirt Mile (formerly run as the PA Derby Champion Stakes) for older horses at 1 mile, the $100,000 Plum Pretty Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles, and the $100,000 Alphabet Soup Handicap for Pennsylvania-bred older horses at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Entries for Saturday from Equibase.
More photos from Friday at Parx

Click the small photo to see a larger version.

Wednesday

horse racingBellafina is a 6-1 third choice in the Cotillion out of post 10. Flavien Prat rides for trainer Simon Callaghan. The Santa Anita Oaks (G1) winner comes here off a 3rd place finish in the Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.

horse racingDiamond King is a full brother to Bellafina, both by Quality Road out of Akron Moon. He is the 5-1 third choice in the Parx Dirt Mile drawing the outside post 8 for trainer Jason Servis and jockey Jose Ortiz. Breeder Joe Minor said, "Diamond King, I think, has always been on the cusp of getting it, just not quite there."

horse racingImprobable is the 8-5 favorite (after original favorite Maximum Security scratched) in the Pennsylvania Derby for trainer Bob Baffert. Mike Smith will break from post 2. After arriving from California, assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said, "It was a good ship. It wasn't hot, and it was nice and cool all day. That is always helpful. Wherever we go, we have a target on our back. We are used to walking out there and having the light blinking. You are not going to get into my head or his head by the light blinking, that's for sure. We just live with the pressure."

horse racingKing Jack is the 2-1 favorite in the Gallant Bob. Joel Rosario rides for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer out of post 7. He comes here off a 2nd place finish in the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar.

horse racingLandeskog is the 7-2 second choice in the Gallant Bob. Abel Cedillo will be in the irons in post 6 for trainer Doug O'Neill. After finishing a disappointing 9th in the Woody Stephens (G1) he shipped home to Del Mar to win an allowance on August 4.

horse racingMr. Money is the 4-1 third choice in the Pennsylvania Derby. Gabriel Saez gets the call out of post 6. Trainer Bret Calhoun said, "He's a smart horse, nothing really bothers him too much. I wouldn't expect anything different from him. He handles everything pretty well. We just galloped him a mile and a half about 5:45 this morning (at Churchill Downs); that's the time he goes every day. He had his normal breakfast, everything was normal, he got on the plane and here we are."

horse racingSerengeti Empress is the 7-2 second choice in the Cotillion and drew the rail. Irad Ortiz rides for trainer Tom Amoss. Amoss said, "I think if one of these top fillies that is a proven grade 1 filly already wins on Saturday, she is going to be named champion 3-year-old filly. We're a horse that is coming off sprints, and we think our speed is going to be at its finest. That's her weapon. So that's our plan, to go right out of the gate."

horse racingShe Makes Me Smile is a 50-1 outsider in the Cotillion. Wesley Torres gets the call for trainer Trevor Gallimore from post 7. Winless since a claiming race at Monmouh in July, she comes here off a 6th place finish in the Cathryn Sophia Stakes at Parx on September 2.

horse racingSpun to Run is an 8-1 shot out of post 5 in the Derby. Paco Lopez rides for trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero. After finishing 3rd in the Haskell Invitational (G1) he came back to win the Smarty Jones Stakes (G3), the main local prep for this event.

horse racingStreet Band is an 8-1 shot in the Cotillion with Sophie Doyle in the irons. Trainer Larry Jones said after coming off the van, "Smooth trip. We checked out of the stable gate at Churchill at 3:52 in the morning and pulled into the gate here at 3:51, so right at 12 hours. And we beat everybody else. It was a beautiful day across the country. It was 73 degrees at Churchill when we started loading up about 3:30. But as we came up and got into Ohio it dropped down to 62. Then 74 is the highest I saw on the temperature gauge all day. A perfect day to travel. She didn't crack a sweat the whole way."

Thursday

horse racingAfleet Destiny is a 30-1 outsider in the Cotillion out of post 2 for trainer Uriah St. Lewis. Winless since breaking her maiden at Parx last October, she was 5th in the Alabama (G1) and then 4th in the Cathryn Sophia last out.

horse racinghorse racingBellafina is a 6-1 third choice in the Cotillion out of post 10. Flavien Prat rides for trainer Simon Callaghan. The Santa Anita Oaks (G1) winner comes here off a 3rd place finish in the Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.

horse racingEnthusiastic Gal is an 8-1 shot in the Turf Amazon Stakes. Joel Rosario will be in the irons from post 8 for trainer Steve Klesaris. She was 7th in the Intercontinental (G3) at Belmont and then finished 4th then 3rd in allowance races at Saratoga.

horse racingGrasshoppin is a 20-1 outsider in the Parx Dirt Mile. Jockey Abel Castillo rides for trainer Richard Vega. Winless for over a year, he comes here off 2nd place finishes in the Roanoke and an allowance both at Parx.

horse racinghorse racingImprobable is the 8-5 favorite (after original favorite Maximum Security scratched) in the Pennsylvania Derby for trainer Bob Baffert. Mike Smith will break from post 2. Baffert said, "Maximum Security was the horse to beat. It's a shame because he's a really good horse and it's exciting to watch him run. The freshening really helped and now this is (Improbable's last chance against 3-year-olds and there's a million dollars on the line, so it's a big race. He needs to be ridden aggressively and Mike will have to get rolling at the start from post 2."

horse racinghorse racingJaywalk is a 6-1 co-third choice in the Cotillion. She drew the outside 11 post for jockey Joel Rosario. Trainer Jason Servis said, "Early on she was (tricky). We just did a little too much with her, but she's back on track now. Her last two races were really good. She bounced a little bit off the Delaware start. That was her lifetime high race. She came back 3 or 4 points slower than the Delaware race so she got a little bounce, but she's going into this race very good. I don't really know if it was the blinkers or if it was more of going back to doing what we did last year with her, but she's ready. It's a solid field. It arguably might be the best 3-year-old filly race this year."

horse racinghorse racingKing Jack is the 2-1 favorite in the Gallant Bob. Joel Rosario rides for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer out of post 7. He comes here off a 2nd place finish in the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar.

horse racingMath Wizard is an 8-1 shot in the Derby. Edgard Zayas will break from the rail for trainer Saffie Joseph.

horse racinghorse racingMr. Money is a 4-1 contender in the Derby out of post 6. Gabriel Saez rides for trainer Bret Calhoun. He comes here off a 4 race win streak all in Grade 3 company: the Pat Day Mile, Matt Winn, Indiana Derby, and West Virginia Derby.

horse racinghorse racingSerengeti Empress is the 7-2 second choice in the Cotillion and drew the rail. Irad Ortiz rides for trainer Tom Amoss. Amoss said, "I think if one of these top fillies that is a proven grade 1 filly already wins on Saturday, she is going to be named champion 3-year-old filly. We're a horse that is coming off sprints, and we think our speed is going to be at its finest. That's her weapon. So that's our plan, to go right out of the gate."

horse racingShanghai Superfly is a 30-1 outsider in the Derby. Frankie Pennington will be in the irons out of post 3 for trainer Marcos Zulueta. Still a maiden after 8 starts, he comes here off a distant 2nd place finish in a maiden claimer at Monmouth.

horse racingShe Makes Me Smile is a 50-1 outsider in the Cotillion. Wesley Torres gets the call for trainer Trevor Gallimore from post 7. Winless since a claiming race at Monmouh in July, she comes here off a 6th place finish in the Cathryn Sophia Stakes at Parx on September 2.

horse racingSpun to Run is an 8-1 shot in the Derby, off his win in the Smarty Jones (G3) after finishing 3rd in the Haskell (G1). Regular rider Paco Lopez gets the return call for trainer Juan Guerrero.

horse racingStreet Band is an 8-1 shot in the Cotillion for trainer Larry Jones. Jockey Sophie Doyle said, "They're not going to make it easy for my filly, absolutely not. I'd say this will probably be her most competitive bunch, perhaps since her run in the Kentucky Oaks, but there were so many horses in that one and they were all very classy fillies. This is almost like a smaller version of a rematch for them. I think coming back to a mile-and-a-sixteenth will be a really big key for her. She has a nice turn of foot that we can use over that sort of distance."

horse racingWild About Deb is a 30-1 outsider in the Parx Dirt Mile for owner-trainer Carl Jones. John Bisono gets the call from post 5. Winless since a claiming race at Parx last November, he comes here off a 4th place finish in the Neshaminy Stakes at Parx after finishing 2nd in a starter allowance at Delaware Park.

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