PARX RACING ON FOX SPORTS 2

Post Time Change Coming Nov. 2

Beginning this Wednesday, October 28, and continuing through Wednesday, November 25, live racing at Parx on Wednesdays will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2. To accommodate the network, post time for this Wednesday will be 12:45 PM instead of the regular 12:55 PM.

With daylight savings time ending soon, Parx will return to its fall/winter starting time of 12:25 PM beginning Monday, November 2. Post time on the Wednesday broadcasts on FS2 will be 12:15 PM.

AMAZING LABOR DAY WEEKEND AT PARX AND FOR PARX

By Dick Jerardi

It was quite a Pennsylvania Day at the Races on Labor Day at Parx, with five stakes races for state breds, including a moment after one that perfectly explains the emotion surrounding the people and their horses. It was an amazing Sunday for Parx when trainer Butch Reid won his second Grade I at Saratoga. Oh by the way, they finally ran the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. And, yes, trainer Bob Baffert won it for a record-tying sixth time.

No surprise that trainer Eddie Coletti and owner Bob Hutt’s Uptowncharlybrown Stud won the first two stakes with sons of the great sire Uptowncharlybrown.

It was the tough 5-year-old Wait for It over the tough 7-year-old Someday Jones in the Storm Cat. The two horses, sons of Pennsylvania’s top sire and the state’s favorite horse (Smarty Jones), have now combined to win 20 races and more than $1 million in purses.

“He’s got such a great personality,’’ Coletti said of Wait for It. “Everybody around here loves him. And when you put the tack on him, he comes out here and tries.’’

Hutt loves Wait for It and really loves Uptowncharlybrown.

“He’s proven himself the top stallion in Pennsylvania and probably the mid-Atlantic region,’’ he said.

The full brothers, Uptowncharlybrown and Midnightcharly, ran 1-2 in the 2019 Banjo Picker Sprint. They did it again this year, the 6-year-old again beating the 5-year-old.

“They’re both competitive,’’ Coletti said. “Obviously, Midnight likes a little more distance. The three-quarters probably ain’t his game.’’

The brothers have won a combined 17 races and are closing on $1 million in earnings. Coletti keeps them apart in training because they are just too competitive. It shows when they run.

It was entirely appropriate that Jamie Ness and Mychel Sanchez teamed up to win the Mrs. Penny as they are the runaway leaders in the Parx trainer and jockey standings respectively.

The 7-year-old mare Its a Journey got a brilliant ride from Sanchez to get up just in time. It was her 15th win in 47 starts, her seventh win since Ness claimed her for $35,000 just over a year ago. She had run twice on grass before the Mrs. Penny, eighth in a 2015 optional claimer at Indiana Downs and fifth in a Pa-bred stake at Penn National last year. She was ready for grass this time.

“She doesn’t have a lot of speed so I saved all the ground I could,’’ Sanchez said. “The hole opened up and we got through.’’

When Pink Caddy came around horses to win the Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial, it was impossible for her trainer Randy Allen not to feel emotional. After all, the filly is co-owned by Gregory Quick and the Club Risque Stable of Parx Hall of Famer Nick Saponera who passed away last December.

“This is more than extra special,’’ Allen said. “I’ve been talking to him all day. As you can tell, I’m a little choked up over it. He was like a father to me. We did everything together. For the last 14 years, I ate lunch at his house every day. We went over to dinner every Friday and Saturday night.’’

And Pink Caddy?

“He would love this,’’ Allen said. “I told him `I don’t know if you’re up there watching today, but we could use a little help if you wouldn’t mind giving us some.’’’

The Critical Way was the only horse on the also-eligible list when the Marshall Jenny was drawn. Two scratches got the 6-year-old into the field and the Jose Delgado trainee dominated the race from in front with jockey Rubin Silvera.

“I was surprised,’’ Silvera said. “It looked like there was a lot of speed in the race. He broke really sharp and there was nothing to do. He win easy.’’

The day before Pa. Day at the Races, it was Parx Day at Saratoga when Reid unleashed the maiden Vequist in the Grade I Spinaway Stakes for 2-year–old fillies. All she did was crush the field by 9 1/2 lengths, giving Reid his second GI at the Spa after Poseidon’s Warrior won the 2012 Vanderbilt.

“It’s always been one of my favorite spots as a fan.’’ Reid said. “To actually be a participant. Both Grade I’s were for Tom McCrath, a local guy who has only been in the business about 10 years.’’

McGrath’s Swilcan Stable bred Vequist. The dam, Vero Amore, who cost just $15,000 at the Timonium 2-year-old sale, lost the 2014 Black Eyed Susan Stakes in a photo. There was no camera needed in the Spinaway.

After losing her debut by a neck in fast time at Parx, the owner sold an interest in Vequist to top national owners Gary Barber and Adam Wachtel.

Reid will consider the Alcibiades and Frizette for her next start. Then, the hope is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland.

And the day before, they finally ran the Derby. The only likely scenario that could get 3-5 favorite Tiz the Law beat was if the Baffert-trained Authentic could clear the field and keep going. That is exactly what happened. John Velazquez could not have ridden Authentic any better and Baffert could not have had the colt any more ready, after losing one serious contender after another all year culminating in the final minutes before the race when Thousand Words flipped in the paddock and was scratched.

So Baffert was down to his last horse. Turned out that was the only one he needed.

IT’S A JOURNEY WINS THRILLER IN MRS. PENNY

Jockey Mychel Sanchez and Trainer Ed Coletti Each Win Two

Labor Day Monday, Parx Racing celebrated the 20th renewal of Pennsylvania’s Day at the Races. The holiday program, run strictly for horses bred here in the Commonwealth,
featured five $80,000 stakes for state-breds with purses for the day totaling $740,000. Jockey Mychel Sanchez and trainer Ed Coletti were the stars of the day, each winning two stakes, Midtowncharlybrown won his second straight Banjo Picker Sprint and It’s a Journey captured the afternoon’s tightest finish.

The Mrs. Penny Stakes for fillies and mares three and up at one mile and one-sixteenth on the turf produced the most exciting finish of the afternoon. It’s a Journey, brilliantly ridden by Mychel Sanchez, came from the back of the pack, split horses late and got up to win in the final strides. Reserved early, It’s a Journey had inside position going into the first turn but had only one horse beaten in the field of eleven. Sanchez found room on the rail during the run up the backstretch, improved a couple of spots, and drew within about five lengths of the leader with a half mile to go. Moving to the far turn, though, with traffic in front, he again lost those spots, and nearing the quarter pole, was again next to last and still a good five to six lengths behind. Turning for home, the horses in front of It’s a Journey fanned to the outside and left room on the inside for the 7 year-old daughter of Jump Start to start making a run. And make a run she did. She shot through on the inside, and then angled between horses for running room late and got past the favored Puca Penny just before the wire to win it by a head. Owned by Gap View Stables and Jagger Inc. and trained by leading trainer Jamie Ness, It’s a Journey went off at 5-1 and paid $12.80 to win. Her final time on a firm course was 1:44.48.

The Storm Cat Stakes went to front running Wait for It. Allowed to control leisurely fractions under jockey Anthony Nunez, the 5 year-old gelded son of Uptopwncharlybrown finally shook loose of longshot Tudox Expectations coming to the quarter pole, opened a clear lead turning for home and then pulled away late to win by a comfortable two and a quarter lengths. Owned by Uptowncharlybrown Stud and trained by Ed Coletti, Wait for It went off as the public’s choice at 7-5 and paid $4.80 to win. He covered the one mile and one-sixteenth over a fast track in 1:44.26.

Just after the Storm Cat, the Uptowncharlybrown outfit came right back to win the Banjo Picker Sprint with Midtowncharlybrown. Right on the heels of blazing pace setter Dancing Bull through wicked fractions of 21.55 and 44.11, Midtowncharlybrown fell about three lengths behind as the field came into the stretch. The 6 year-old son of Uptowncharlybrown, however, refused to surrender As the pace began to finally take its toll on Dancing Bull, Midtowncharlybrown started to close the gap again as they passed the eighth pole. He finally surged ahead with about 70 yards to go and then moved away at the end to win by just over a length. It was the second straight win in the Banjo Picker Sprint for Midtowncharlybrown, trained again by Ed Coletti and ridden to victory by Roberto Rosado. Part of a favored entry at 4-5, he paid $3.60 to win and finished the six furlongs in 1:10.65.

Pink Caddy rallied to victory in the Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares three and up. The 3 year-old El Padrino filly got a race set up that suited her style and she ran big to take full advantage. Expected to come from off the pace, Pink Caddy got a three way speed duel in front of her and sat fifth with about a half mile to go. Rounding the far turn, she started top pick off rivals and moved within striking range as they approached the top of the stretch. Well regarded Sunny Dale had inside position turning for home, cut the corner and took the lead with just one furlong to go. Four wide off the turn and in the middle of the race track, Pink Caddy just kept coming. Striking the front with a sixteenth to go, she edged away late to win by a full length. Owned by Club Risque Stable and Greg Quick and trained by Randy Allen, she went postward as the second choice at 2-1 and paid $6.20 to win. Jockey Mychel Sanchez picked up his second stakes win of the day and Pink Caddy covered her six furlongs in 1:10.97.

Had it not been for a pair of late scratches, Monster Racing Stables’ The Critical Way would not have been in the gate for the five furlong turf sprint, the Marshall Jenney Handicap. Drawing in to the field of eleven, the 6 year-old gelded son of Tizway shot out of the gate on top, sprinted away to a clear early lead and never looked back. Leading every step of the way under jockey Ruben Silvera, The Critical Way flashed under the line a decisive four and a half length winner. Trained by Jose Delgado, The Critical Way posted the day’s biggest upset at odds of 11-1 and paid $25.00 to win. He ran the five-eighths on the grass in :57.21.