pa breds shine in parx stakes

By Dick Jerardi

It is unclear at this point if any of the horses which ran in Monday’s two $100,000 Pennsylvania Bred stakes will have the careers of the horses for which the races were named. Time will tell.

Power By Far raced 32 times from 1997-2000 with 15 wins, four seconds, five thirds and earnings of $544,335. The Pa. Bred was owned by Barbara Geraghty and trained by Tony Correnti. Pa. Bred Crowd Pleaser raced 24 times also from 1997-2000 with nine wins, one second, three thirds and earnings of $605,150 for trainer Jonathan Sheppard and George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable.

The favored winners of The Power By Far and The Crowd Pleaser did their namesakes proud with solid performances that confirmed the form of one and suggested the other may be on his way to big things.

The brilliant 4-year-old filly Dontlookbackatall is certainly doing her part to emulate Power By Far. Favored at 1-5 in the 5 furlong on the turf stakes, she sat a perfect trip under the incredible Irad Ortiz, Jr. (down from New York for the mount) and edged by 20-1 pacesetter Organized Chaos in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length, 62-1 Eight Danzas nearly six lengths back in third.

Dontlookbackatall, owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, Scarlet Oak Racing and Titletown Racing Stables and trained at Belmont Park by Christophe Clement, has now raced 10 times on grass with four wins and four seconds.

The filly ran the distance in 57.19 seconds, but times were hard to make sense of as there was a significant headwind down the backstretch.

Ortiz is off on Mondays, but decided to make the trip. The $6,000 jockey’s share of the purse was a nice incentive, but that won’t change his bottom line much.

“It’s nice when you can ride those kinds of horses for a trainer like him,” he said. “I have so much respect for him and I know he does a great job with the horses. I trust him. My agent told me if I want to come over on Monday on a dark day so I said ‘definitely, I’ll be there. I didn’t even think about it.'”

The winner’s circle was crowded with perhaps three dozen owners and friends of owners. But it was Ortiz who was the center of attention. He posed for as many pictures and signed as many autographs as fans wanted.

Ortiz does not ride at Park often, but when he does, he makes it count. He won the Pennsylvania Derby in 2012 with Handsome Mike, one of the first big wins of his career that now includes 3,905 wins and purse earnings of more than $315 million. He won the Pa. Derby again in 2019 on longshot Math Wizard for Parx owner John Fanelli.

“Lots of good memories here,” Ortiz said. “They support me every time I come up. I love it.”

Terry Finley, who runs West Point, grew up not far from Parx. He watched the Power By Far on television.

“I just liked her at the 2-year-old sale,” Finley said of Dontlookbackatall. “She’s a big beautiful filly.”

Dontlookbackatall cost $150,000 at the 2022 OBS March sale. She’s won nearly three times that already and has serious residual value.

The bettors made Dontlookbackatall 1-5 for three reasons: her race record, her jockey and her trainer who has won a cool 2,479 races for purse earnings of $173 million. It looked like an unbeatable combination on paper and played out exactly that way on the track.

Trevesso was a bit more of an unknown in the Crowd Pleaser with just four starts for trainer Cal Lynch and owners Runnymoore Racing LLC (Greg and Caroline Bentley). The 3-year-old colt was a solid fifth in the June 1 Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park, his only grass start. The Crowd Pleaser going 1 1/16 miles on grass against a field with scant grass experience certainly looked like the right spot.

And it certainly was. Trevesso, bet down to 9-5 favoritism, essentially blew by the entire field on the far turn under jockey Jorge Ruiz, opened up a commanding lead in the stretch and won comfortably by 1 1/2 lengths over 8-1 Capo (2023 Pa. Nursery winner), with 42-1 Max Barley back in third.

“The race at Monmouth, he got a little bit of a rough trip, but he came out of the race really well,” Lynch said. “This was our plan to come here. We just wanted to get a turf race…He’s a lovely horse. He’s always been showing he’s this kind of a horse.”

Lynch who is stabled at the Fair Hill Training Center in the norteast corner of Maryland, trained at Parx for years.

“It’s like home for us,” he said. “My two boys grew up here. We lived in Holland and we just loved it up here.”

The Bentleys are no strangers to good horses, having raced 2014 Arlington Million winner Hardest Core with trainer Edward Graham and jockey Eriluis Vaz, onetime Parx regular.

Time will tell how good Trevesso turns out to be, but the son of grass star Kitten’s Joy has certainly found a home on the turf. The Crowd Pleaser was his first stakes win, but is not likely to be his last.


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