By Dick Jerardi
It was the last weekend day of live racing at Parx until Pennsylvania Derby Day on Sept. 23. It was some Fathers’ Day as fans packed the apron and the grassy areas beyond the building. And, because of all those fans, it was the perfect first PTHA President’s Cup for PTHA president Bob Hutt, an advocate for more weekend racing that will attract more fans and introduce the next generation to the sport.
Hutt was there to present the trophy for the race named in honor of the president of the Parx horsemen’s group. And that trophy will go to As One Racing, a new and very unique partnership that bought their first horse for $260,000 at the January 2023 All Ages Keeneland Sale. They got the newly turned 5-year-old mare Bipartisanship then, and that was the British bred in the Parx winner’s circle after the Cup.
“She’s won three stakes, none of them graded,” Bipartisanship’s trainer Graham Motion said. “This (performance) would kind of rank with those other stakes that she’s won, but I do feel she might have improved a little bit. She did it very nicely.”
Motion was the trainer before the sale and after. And this was As One Racing’s first winner.
“It’s a big, diversified group that they’ve done on purpose to get more people interested,” Motion said. “It’s a great story.”
The asoneracing.com website tells that story quite well, with an introductory video that explains how 15 of the first 28 Kentucky Derby winning jockeys were African Americans before Jim Crow laws forced black riders, trainers and owners out of the sport. As One Racing is a partnership formed around “diversity, equity and inclusion.”
In addition to As One Racing, Commonwealth and Edgar Harty are listed as owners of the mare. The $43,800 for winning the Cup is a nice return on that investment, following a solid third in the Grade III Galorette on Preakness Day and a third in an April allowance at Keeneland.
The late money poured in on Bipartisanship, making her the 1-1 favorite in the field of seven fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the grass. She sat a few lengths behind the early leaders, always in a good spot, but needing room to run from her inside position. Jockey Jevian Toledo knew what he had and when he got the mare into the clear, she gave him all of it.
“I got the inside post so I just saved the ground on the first turn and kept her right there,” Toledo said. “She was traveling so well and I’ve got a ton of horse. When I came to the turn and I got the chance to go out, I didn’t even hit her. She did it all…She just took off. I just tapped her on the shoulder and she just responded right away.”
Yes, she did. Bipartisanship won going away by 2 1/4 lengths over Deciding Vote, ending an interesting two-race political foray after Ridin With Biden, making his first start since January, was brilliant in an allowance race that finished with track announcer Jessica Paquette saying: “Ridin With Biden trumps the competition.”
Deciding Vote won the 2022 PTHA President’s Cup for trainer Edward Graham and owner William Pape when the race came off the grass and was run in October.
Ridin With Biden went over $500,000 in career earnings and trainer Butch Reid said they may look for a repeat in the Greenwood Cup on Pa. Derby Day.
In the race prior to Ridin With Biden’s win, Reid sent out a pair of first time starting 2-year-old fillies that ran 1-2 for Ridin With Biden’s owners Cash Is King (Chuck Zacney) and LC Racing (Glenn Bennett). The winner, Carmelina, is in the first crop of Maximus Mischief, the most talented 2-year-old stabled at Parx since Smarty Jones.
Maximus Mischief was injured early in his 3-year-old season (2019) and never got to show the obvious ability to a wider audience. But the early stallion returns look solid.