Maximum Security – War Of Will Rematch In G1 Pa Derby

Unbeaten Guarana Heads G1 Cotillion

The long awaited rematch between Maximum Security and War of Will serves as the backdrop for Saturday’s running of the $1 million G1 Pennsylvania Derby.  The two principle players in the notorious bumping incident that resulted in the first winner of the Kentucky Derby to ever be disqualified will face each other for the first time since that historic afternoon in Louisville, hoping to settle a score that has festered now for over four months.  The two head a field of seven three year-olds that includes the red hot Mr. Money, hoping to spoil the party for either of the two high profile colts.  Meanwhile, Three Chimney Farm’s Guarana will look to keep her perfect record in tack against ten rivals, seeking her third straight Grade 1 win, as the headliner in the $1 million G1 Cotillion Stakes.

For a horse that is now a multiple Grade 1 winner, it seems almost inconceivable that he could have been offered for just $16,000 in his career debut, but that is indeed how it all started for Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security.  Making his career debut in a maiden claimer last December at Gulfstream, the New Year’s Day colt roared away to win by nearly 10 lengths and has never looked back.  He twice dominated optional claiming foes before his first big test in the G1 Florida Derby on March 30th.  Leading every step, he came home a three and a half length winner and went to Churchill Downs as a major player in the Kentucky Derby.  Following the now famous incident at the top of the stretch, for 22 tense minutes, he stood as the Kentucky Derby winner.  The joy in the Maximum Security camp would be dashed, however, as the Churchill stewards decided to disqualify him for interference and place him 17th.  He now comes into the race Saturday off his second Grace 1 win on the year, winning the Haskell at Monmouth Park on July 20th.

Gary Barber’s War of Will was, of course, the colt most directly affected by the actions of Maximum Security in the Derby, and for the first time in four months, their paths will again “collide.”  War of Will came into the Derby with a terrific spring resume, having captured both the G3 LeComte and the G2 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds before problems at the start resulted in a sub-par performance in the Louisiana Derby.  He came back from the Derby with a perfect trip victory under Tyler Gaffalione in the Preakness, making the War Front colt a classic winner for trainer Mark Casse.  While the mile and a half Belmont was probably beyond his scope, he also did not run well in his subsequent race, the G2 Jim Dandy on July 27th at Saratoga, running a well beaten fifth behind Tax and Tacitus.  Working bullets at Saratoga, he hopes to recapture his spring form Saturday afternoon.

The late blooming colt that may stand in their way is Mr. Money.  Out of the Bret Calhoun barn and sporting the colors of Allied Racing Stable, the Goldencents colt comes into the race off four consecutive graded wins, all by daylight.  His streak started on Derby Day, winning the G3 Pat Day Mile on the undercard by better than five lengths.  He’s followed that with wins in the G3 Matt Winn (by 6 ½), the G3 Indiana Derby (by 2 ½) and the G3 West Virginia Derby (by 6). As a two year-old his connections thought enough of him to send him to the G1 Breeders Cup Juvenile directly off his maiden win, where he performed more than admirably, running a very respectable fourth at 41-1.

The Cotillion is led by the undefeated filly, Guarana.  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.

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.

Here’s the complete field for the $1 million G1 Pennsylvania Derby

1Math WizardSaffie Joseph, Jr.Edgard Zayas8-1
2Improbable Bob BaffertMike Smith3-1
3Shanghai SuperflyMarcos ZuluetaFrankie Pennington30-1
4War of WillMark CasseTyler Gaffalione5-1
5Spun to RunCarlos GuerreroPaco Lopez8-1
6Mr. MoneyBret CalhounGabriel Saez4-1
7Maximum SecurityJason ServisLuis Saez9-5

Here’s the complete field for the $1 million G1 Cotillion Stakes

1Serengeti EmpressTom AmossIrad Ortiz, Jr7-2
2Afleet DestinyUriah St. LewisNo Rider30-1
3Street BandLarry JonesSophie Doyle8-1
4JeltrinAlexis DelgadoLeonel Reyes12-1
5Collegeville GirlRichard VegaAngel Castillo20-1
6HorologistJohn MazzaLuis Saez15-1
7She Makes Me SmileTrevor GallimoreWesley Torres 50-1
8GuaranaChad BrownJose Ortiz9-5
9Sweet Sami DPatrick McBurneyPaco Lopez20-1
10BellafinaSimon CallaghanFlavian Prat6-1
11JaywalkJohn ServisJoel Rosario6-1

Here’s the complete field for the G2 Gallant Bob Stakes

1War TocsinUriah St. Lewis Joe Bravo20-1
2War BridleJim NobleRuben Silvera20-1
3Trophy ChaserJuan Carlos AvilaJose Ortiz6-1
4Strong WillLarry RivelliLuis Saez10-1
5Bethlehem RoadDee CurryLuis Rodriguez Castro10-1
6LandeskogDoug O’NeillAbel Cedillo7-2
7King JackJerry HollendorferJoel Rosario2-1
8Get HammeredLarry RivelliIrad Ortiz, Jr.12-1
9BulletinTodd PletcherMike Smith4-1

Showdown set for Saturday’s Pennsylvania Derby

Maximum Security and War of Will, two of the leading players in the drama that unfolded at the Kentucky Derby, will meet for the first time since that controversial race in Saturday’s 40th running of the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing.

A field of seven was entered Monday afternoon for the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby, which highlights a stellar card at Parx that also includes the Grade 1 Cotillion for 3-year-old fillies and five other stakes. The Pennsylvania Derby and $1 million Cotillion will be nationally televised for the first time on NBC from 5-6 p.m. EDT.

Gates open at Parx on Pennsylvania Derby Day at 11 a.m. with the first post set for 12:25 p.m. The Pennsylvania Derby goes as the 11th race on the card with a post time of 5:48 p.m.

“It’s a salty race. It’s pretty tough,” said California-based Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, bidding for his third straight and fourth Pennsylvania Derby overall with 3-1 second choice Improbable. “You’ve got to bring you’re A game. Every Grade 1 is a tough race. We have to ship and everything has to go well. Maximum Security is definitely the horse to beat. You just never know who is going to show up.”

Owned and bred by Gary and Mary West, Maximum Security drew post 7 for the 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby. He’s listed as the 9-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday with regular jockey Luis Saez named to ride for trainer Jason Servis.

Maximum Security left from post 7 and crossed the finish 1 3/4 lengths in front in the Kentucky Derby. The son of New Year’s Day wound up disqualified and placed 17th for an alleged interference near the top of the stretch, an incident stewards said involved subsequent eighth-place finisher War of Will. War of Will was placed seventh following the disqualification.

The two went separate ways after the Derby. War of Will won the Preakness Stakes two weeks later before a ninth in the Belmont Stakes and a fifth in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga July 27. Maximum Security didn’t return to the Triple Crown, instead prepping with a second in the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth in mid-June before his victory in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational July 20.

Trainer Mark Casse opted to keep Gary Barber’s War of Will out of the Grade 1 Travers, deciding instead to train the son of War Front up to the Pennsylvania Derby. War of Will prepped for his return at Saratoga and Belmont and comes in off four-straight bullet workouts, including a half-mile in :47.40 last Saturday. Regular jockey Tyler Gaffalione rides the 5-1 fourth choice from post 4.

A Grade 1 winner as a 2-year-old for Baffert and owners WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International and Starlight Racing, Improbable went off as the post-time favorite for the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. He finished fifth (fourth via the DQ of Maximum Security) and sixth in those races before Baffert gave the son of City Zip a break. Improbable returned from three months off with a victory in the Shared Belief Stakes Aug. 25 at Del Mar.

Hall of Famer Mike Smith, aboard Baffert’s last two Pennsylvania Derby winners McKinzie and West Coast, returns on Improbable Saturday from post 2. Smith breezed Improbable Monday, guiding the colt to through a bullet 5-furlong move in 1:00.20 at Santa Anita Park.

“Mike worked him and we are happy about that,” Baffert said. “I always like to be on the outside if I can, but the draw is over. It’s a short field. He just has to break well, that’s about it.”

Allied Racing Stable’s Mr. Money makes his third straight Derby start in search of his fifth consecutive victory for trainer Bret Calhoun. The winner of the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile and Grade 3 Matt Win at Churchill Downs this spring, Mr. Money won the Grade 3 Indiana Derby and Grade 3 West Virginia Derby this summer. Gabriel Saez rides Mr. Money, the 4-1 third choice, from post 6.

Rounding out the Pennsylvania Derby field are Ohio Derby runner-up Math Wizard (Edgard Zayas, post 1, 8-1), the maiden Shanghai Superfly (Frankie Pennington, post 3, 30-1) and Grade 3 Smarty Jones winner Spun to Run (Paco Lopez, post 5, 8-1).

The Cotillion attracted a field of 11 led by undefeated two-time Grade 1 winner Guarana, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly Jaywalk, Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress and multiple Grade 1 winner Bellafina. The 1 1/16-mile Cotillion goes as the 10th race Saturday.

Owned and bred by Three Chimneys Farm, Guarana blitzed a field of maidens in her debut April 19 at Keeneland before winning back-to-back Grade 1 stakes in the Acorn at Belmont Park and Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga for trainer Chad Brown. The daughter of Ghostzapper breezed five times at Saratoga and twice at Belmont, including a bullet 5 furlongs in 1:00.10 last Saturday, in preparation for the Cotillion.

The full field for the Cotillion, from the rail out, with trainers and jockeys: Serengeti Empress (Tom Amoss, Irad Ortiz Jr.), Afleet Destiny (Uriah St. Lewis, No rider), Street Band (Larry Jones, Sophie Doyle), Jeltrin (Alexis Delgado, Leonel Reyes), Collegeville Girl (Richard Vega, Angel Castillo), Horologist (John Mazza, Luis Saez), She Makes Me Smile (Trevor Gallimore, Wesley Torres), Guarana (Chad Brown, Jose Ortiz), Sweet Sami D (Patrick McBurney, Paco Lopez), Bellafina (Simon Callaghan, Flavien Prat), Jaywalk (John Servis, Joel Rosario).

MAXIMUM SECURITY – WAR OF WILL REMATCH IN G1 PA DERBY | Unbeaten Guarana Heads G1 Cotillion

The long awaited rematch between Maximum Security and War of Will serves as the backdrop for Saturday’s running of the $1 million G1 Pennsylvania Derby. The two principle players in the notorious bumping incident that resulted in the first winner of the Kentucky Derby to ever be disqualified will face each other for the first time since that historic afternoon in Louisville, hoping to settle a score that has festered now for over four months. The two head a field of seven three year-olds that includes the red hot Mr. Money, hoping to spoil the party for either of the two high profile colts. Meanwhile, Three Chimney Farm’s Guarana will look to keep her perfect record in tack against ten rivals, seeking her third straight Grade 1 win, as the headliner in the $1 million G1 Cotillion Stakes.

For a horse that is now a multiple Grade 1 winner, it seems almost inconceivable that he could have been offered for just $16,000 in his career debut, but that is indeed how it all started for Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security. Making his career debut in a maiden claimer last December at Gulfstream, the New Year’s Day colt roared away to win by nearly 10 lengths and has never looked back. He twice dominated optional claiming foes before his first big test in the G1 Florida Derby on March 30th. Leading every step, he came home a three and a half length winner and went to Churchill Downs as a major player in the Kentucky Derby. Following the now famous incident at the top of the stretch, for 22 tense minutes, he stood as the Kentucky Derby winner. The joy in the Maximum Security camp would be dashed, however, as the Churchill stewards decided to disqualify him for interference and place him 17th. He now comes into the race Saturday off his second Grace 1 win on the year, winning the Haskell at Monmouth Park on July 20th.

Gary Barber’s War of Will was, of course, the colt most directly affected by the actions of Maximum Security in the Derby, and for the first time in four months, their paths will again “collide.” War of Will came into the Derby with a terrific spring resume, having captured both the G3 LeComte and the G2 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds before problems at the start resulted in a sub-par performance in the Louisiana Derby. He came back from the Derby with a perfect trip victory under Tyler Gaffalione in the Preakness, making the War Front colt a classic winner for trainer Mark Casse. While the mile and a half Belmont was probably beyond his scope, he also did not run well in his subsequent race, the G2 Jim Dandy on July 27th at Saratoga, running a well beaten fifth behind Tax and Tacitus. Working bullets at Saratoga, he hopes to recapture his spring form Saturday afternoon.

The late blooming colt that may stand in their way is Mr. Money. Out of the Bret Calhoun barn and sporting the colors of Allied Racing Stable, the Goldencents colt comes into the race off four consecutive graded wins, all by daylight. His streak started on Derby Day, winning the G3 Pat Day Mile on the undercard by better than five lengths. He’s followed that with wins in the G3 Matt Winn (by 6 ½), the G3 Indiana Derby (by 2 ½) and the G3 West Virginia Derby (by 6). As a two year-old his connections thought enough of him to send him to the G1 Breeders Cup Juvenile directly off his maiden win, where he performed more than admirably, running a very respectable fourth at 41-1.

The Cotillion is led by the undefeated filly, Guarana. 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.

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.

Here’s the complete field for the $1 million G1 Pennsylvania Derby

1 – Math Wizard Saffie Joseph, Jr. Edgard Zayas 8-1
2 – Improbable Bob Baffert Mike Smith 3-1
3 – Shanghai Superfly Marcos Zulueta Frankie Pennington 30-1
4 – War of Will Mark Casse Tyler Gaffalione 5-1
5 – Spun to Run Carlos Guerrero Paco Lopez 8-1
6 – Mr. Money Bret Calhoun Gabriel Saez 4-1
7 – Maximum Security Jason Servis Luis Saez 9-5

Here’s the complete field for the $1 million G1 Cotillion Stakes

1 – Serengeti Empress Tom Amoss Irad Ortiz, Jr 7-2
2 – Afleet Destiny Uriah St. Lewis No Rider 30-1
3 – Street Band Larry Jones Sophie Doyle 8-1
4 – Jeltrin Alexis Delgado Leonel Reyes 12-1
5 – Collegeville Girl Richard Vega Angel Castillo 20-1
6 – Horologist John Mazza Luis Saez 15-1
7 – She Makes Me Smile Trevor Gallimore Wesley Torres 50-1
8 – Guarana Chad Brown Jose Ortiz 9-5
9 – Sweet Sami D Patrick McBurney Paco Lopez 20-1
10 – Bellafina Simon Callaghan Flavian Prat 6-1
11– Jaywalk John Servis Joel Rosario 6-1

Here’s the complete field for the G2 Gallant Bob Stakes

1 – War Tocsin Uriah St. Lewis Joe Bravo 20-1
2 – War Bridle Jim Noble Ruben Silvera 20-1
3 – Trophy Chaser Juan Carlos Avila Jose Ortiz 6-1
4 – Strong Will Larry Rivelli Luis Saez 10-1
5 – Bethlehem Road Dee Curry Luis Rodriguez Castro 10-1
6 – Landeskog Doug O’Neill Abel Cedillo 7-2
7 – King Jack Jerry Hollendorfer Joel Rosario 2-1
8 – Get Hammered Larry Rivelli Irad Ortiz, Jr. 12-1
9 – Bulletin Todd Pletcher Mike Smith 4-1

Grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby Draws 21 Nominations

This year’s Grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby has drawn 21 thoroughbreds nominated towards a start in the 40th Running of the 1 1/8 mile event to be held on Saturday September 21, at Parx Racing.
The Penn Derby, raised to Grade 1 status in 2017, has become an important prep race for 3-year-olds en route towards a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and will be nationally televised for the first time on NBC
from 5pm to 6pm EST.

Headlining the group amid a wide open sophomore division is Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security who comes off a game 1 1/4 length victory in the Grade 1 Haskell on July 20 at Monmouth Park.
The Jason Servis trained colt entered the gate in the May 4 Kentucky Derby perfect through four starts while boasting a 3 1/2 length score in the Florida Derby, his only start amid the Derby Trail. The son of New Year’s Day topped the field of 18 others in the Kentucky Derby by 1 3/4 lengths before being disqualified to 17th for causing interference at the top of the stretch.

Maximum Security skipped the rest of the Triple Crown trail, the Preakness and Belmont Stakes respectively, and instead made his next start in the $150,000 Pegasus at Monmouth Park where he stumbled at the break and finished second behind winner King for a Day. The Pennsylvania Derby could be the first time the earner of $1,279,400 will face any of his Kentucky Derby foes since the controversial and historical Triple Crown classic.

Gary Barber’s Grade 1 Preakness winner War of Will is one such adversary that looks to return to the winners’ circle after failing to do so in his last two starts. The Mark Casse trained son of War Front’s last victory came in the Preakness where he closed to win by 1 1/4 lengths before tiring to ninth in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes, which was won by stablemate Sir Winston. High hopes for victory at Saratoga were dashed when he found himself on the lead, but tired to fifth in the 1 1/8-mile Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 27. The Kentucky-bred began his 3-year-old year with a four-length victory in the Grade 3 LeComte at Fair Grounds on January 19, then returned less than a month later to win the Grade 2 Risen Star by 2 1/4 lengths.

Casse decided to continue his colt’s successful Derby campaign at Fair Grounds, but the streak was broken as War of Will failed to make an impact as the favorite and finished a disappointing ninth. His next start came in the Kentucky Derby over a sloppy and sealed track, and looked to be in contention at the top of the lane before being forced to check as Maximum Security ran towards his outside. War of Will finished eighth, but was placed seventh after his rival’s disqualification.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is likely to ship his Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity winner Improbable east from his barn at Del Mar for a date against the top 3-year-olds. A win by Improbable would give Baffert his third straight victory and fourth in Pennsylvania Derby history after he saddled West Coast and McKinzie to back-to-back victories three years after winning his first with Bayern in 2014. Bayern owns the stakes record at 1:46.96 for the 1 1/8 miles. The City Zip colt owned by WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club International Ltd. and Starlight Racing returned to his winning ways in his last start by beating just three others in the $100,000 Shared Belief at Del Mar.
The Kentucky-bred ran two strong second-place finishes in both the Grade 2 Rebel and Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on the Triple Crown trainer before finishing fifth (4th via disqualification) in the Kentucky Derby and then sixth in the Preakness.

Allied Racing Stable LLC will send multiple graded stakes winner Mr. Money who has been living up to his name as of late as he seeks his fifth straight victory, and first Grade 1 win after drawing off to win four straight Grade 3 starts beginning with the Pat Day Mile, Matt Winn, Indiana Derby and West Virginia Derby. The Bret Calhoun-trained speedy son of Goldencents has earned $1,074,220 through 10 lifetime starts.

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher plans to saddle the Wertheimer and Frere owned Spinoff for his seventh start of the year after debuting with blinkers and drawing clear to win by 5 3/4 lengths against allowance level foes at Saratoga. A graded stakes victory has eluded the chestnut son of Hard Spun who will make his fourth attempt at a Grade 1 win after placing 18th then sixth in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes respectively. Pletcher tested his Kentucky-bred’s turf pedigree in his start two back when he broke from the gate in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby. Spinoff tired to 11th amid the field of 14. Pletcher won the Pennsylvania Derby in 2002 with Harlan’s Holiday.

Godolphin’s Endorsed may be the most lightly raced colt among the field, but the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained son of Medaglia d’ Oro seems to be maturing at the right time. A winner in his debut at Saratoga as a 2-year-old, Endorsed returned with a tiring sixth place finish in the Grade 1 Champagne to end his freshman year. Endorsed returned off an eight month break and bested allowance foes at six furlongs, then stretched out to 1 1/8 miles and ran a strong second in the $100,000 Curlin over muddy going at Saratoga. Still searching for his first graded stakes win, the Kentucky-bred closed belatedly for fourth in the Grade 1 Travers. A victory by Endorsed would give McLaughlin his second Penn Derby win after Frosted captured the race in 2015.

Robert P. Donaldson’s Spun to Run may be the lone entrant in the field to boast a home field advantage over the course after earning his first graded stakes victory in the Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes on September 2. The Juan Carlos Guerrero-trained son of Hard Spun has three wins from five starts at Parx, and displayed his talent in Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on July 20 when he debuted with blinkers and finished third behind Maximum Security and Mucho Gusto, who went on to finish a strong third in the Travers.

Others nominated to the Pennsylvania Derby are: Cairo Cat for owner Walking L Thoroughbreds LLC and trainer Kenneth McPeek; Chilly in Charge for owner Newtown Anner Stud and trainer Miguel Vera; Code of Honor for owner William S. Farish and Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey; Extra Hope for owner Jay Emm Ess Stable and Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella; King Jack for owner Michael Stinson and Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer; Majid for owner Zayat Stables and trainer Rudy Rodriguez; Math Wizard for owner John Fanelli, Collamele Viteli Stables, Bassett Stables, Ioannis Zoumas, Wynwood Thoroughbreds & Joseph A Saffie Jr. and trainer Joseph A. Saffie Jr.; Mucho Gusto for owner Michael Lund Peterson and Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert; Olympic Village for owner Jeffrey Lambert and trainer Robert B. Hess Jr.; Omaha Beach for owner Fox Hill Farm and Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella; Parsimony for owner Reddam Racing LLC and trainer Doug O’Neill; Tacitus for owner Juddmonte Farms and Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott and Tax for owner Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and R. A. Hill Stable and trainer Danny Gargan.

Courtesy of Anthony Affronti

Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion for 3-Year-Old Fillies Draws 14 Nominations

By Anthony Affrunti

The Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion Stakes for 3-year-old fillies has drawn 14 nominations hoping for a start in the 51st Running of the race on Saturday September 21 at Parx. The Cotillion is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Series, 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.

SPUN TO RUN WILL GO IN THE PENNSYLVANIA DERBY

By Dick Jerardi

Right after he won the first graded stakes of his career, trainer Carlos Guerrero said he needed a few days before he could commit to trying to win the first Grade I race of his career.

After Spun to Run’s thrilling win in the Grade III Smarty Jones Stakes on Labor Day at Parx, the trainer took that time to evaluate owner Robert Donaldson’s horse. Guerrero liked what he saw, so Spun to Run will be entered in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 21 where he will be running against Kentucky Derby winner (for 20 minutes) Maximum Security and Preakness winner War of Will.

“It’s going to be a tough one,” Guerrero said.

Spun to Run tried Maximum Security in the Grade I Haskell Invitational on July 20. The colt by Pennsylvania-Bred Hard Spun finished third, 9 1/4 lengths behind Max. But there were extenuating circumstances. It was Spun to Run’s first race in four months, his first race since surgery to repair an entrapped epiglottis, and jockey Paco Lopez, against instructions, took Spun to Run from behind horses on the turn sooner than the trainer wished.

Guerrero does not think the colt was going to win that day, but does think he would have been closer. Lopez waited longer behind horses in the Smarty Jones Stakes and the colt had a much stronger finish. After getting passed by Ellis Park Derby winner Gray Magician in the stretch, Spun to Run came back to take the lead and was easing away at the finish line. This was, just as the trainer expected, a better horse in the Smarty Jones than he was in the Haskell. The winning Smarty Jones Beyer Speed Figure was 97, five points lower than the Haskell’s Beyer of 102, about three lengths on the track

So Spun to Run will have to be better again to win the Pa. Derby, but you can’t win if you are not in.

Spun to Run was purchased for $64,000 at the Timonium two-year-old sale right after the 2018 Preakness. Guerrero knew quickly this was a good one.

“He showed me a lot of class when I started training him, very professional with everything,” Guerrero said.

The colt did not win any of his first four starts, but he ran well enough and those were sprints. After the Smarty Jones win, Spun to Run is now 3-for-4 around two turns, including that third in the Haskell.

“It’s funny when you win a claimer and then you win a graded race,” Guerrero said. “Everybody and their mother, it’s like congratulations.”

The Pa. Derby likely will be Spun to Run’s final race of 2019 unless, of course, the colt wins. Then, they will have a lot to think about.

Soon after the Smarty Jones Stakes, the lady who cuts Guerrero’s hair reminded him what he had said about Spun to Run when he was getting a haircut on Jan. 14, near where he lives in South Jersey.

“Keep an eye on this horse,” he told her then. “He’s going to be a nice one.”

Spun to Run has now won $300,000 more than his purchase price, so he is definitely a nice one.

Spun to Run won’t have to go Maximum Security’s home track at Monmouth Park this time. All of them will be coming to Parx, Spun to Run’s home track. On to the Pennsylvania Derby.