Heavily favored Pure Sensation broke on top and proceeded to dominate a quality field of turf sprinters, winning the Grade 3 $200,000 Parx Dash Saturday afternoon at Parx Racing. Having already won three Turf Monster Handicaps and two previous running’s of the Parx Dash, the win gave him the most graded wins, six, in history over the local course, eclipsing the mark of legendary turf sprinter Ben’s Cat.
Breaking from post seven in the ten horse field under winning jockey Paco Lopez, Pure Sensation was the first to show and immediately sprinted to the lead. He had company through the opening quarter mile as last year’s Parx Dash winner Vision Perfect was pressing him from the outside. The two turned as opening quarter in :22.18 over a course listed as yielding as overnight and early afternoon rains softened the going. Longshot Smokin Nitro sat a close third while running three wide down the backstretch.
Rounding the far turn, Vision Perfect took his shot, coming up to almost be on even terms with Pure Sensation while Smokin Nitro gained three wide to make it three across the track as the trio came to the quarter pole. Coming off the turn, however, the race was suddenly over. Pure Sensation suddenly spurted away to a clear two length lead while his rivals struggled to keep up and now inside the final furlong, the 8 year-old gelded son of Zensational simply continued to pour it on. At the sixteenth pole he had a six length lead and jockey Lopez decided enough was enough. He geared down Pure Sensation and came coasting under the wire as much the best. While the final margin of victory stands at four and a quarter lengths, the margin does not do justice to the magnificence that was this performance.
Trained by Christophe Clement and sent off as the 6-5 betting favorite, Pure Sensation paid $4.60, 3.20 and 2.40. Rocket Heat (8-1) a terrific speedster that many expected to set the pace, was fourth after the first furlong and stayed on well enough to be second, returning 7.40 and 5.20. Smokin Nitro (16-1) acquitted himself well in his turf stakes debut, challenging for the lead near the top of the stretch and holding on for third, paying 7.60 to show. The final time for the five furlongs over the yielding turf was 1:00.42.