Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby Preview (Parx Casino and racetrack)
1 1/8 miles on dirt with a $1,000,000 purse
Saturday, September 25th, Race 12 (5:49 PM E)
#1 Fulsome (12/1), trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux
This 3-year old colt by Into Mischief has hit the board in 7 of 9 (5-1-1) lifetime starts with career earnings of $582,504. He won the Grade 3 Smarty Jones last month earning a career best 104 Equibase speed figure. He's 1-for-1 at Parx, 1-for-1 at this distance, and 1-for-1 on a wet track. Rain is expected on Thursday, but should clear out by Saturday. Had a nice work going 5F in 1:00.5 on September 18th. Fulsome is taking a step up in class. He would need to improve quite a bit off his last win although it's doable. Brad Cox winning 30% off horse win in last start. Longshot!
#2 Keepmeinmind (8/1), trained by Robertino Diodoro and ridden by Joel Rosario
Has hit the board in 6 of 11 (1-3-2) career starts with earning of $739,837. It's just really hard to back a horse that hasn't won in almost two years. Was a solid 2nd behind Essential Quality in Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 31. After that he finished 4th in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes on August 28th. The bright side, he's getting beat by extremely talented horses. The dark side, his speed figures are going south and that's not what you want to see in this type of race. Toss!
#3 Speaker's Corner (12/1), trained by William Mott and ridden by Jose Ortiz
This is an intriguing horse to me. Three career starts with two wins and one third for earnings of $99,940. His speed figures have gone up in every single race. From a 68 to a 107 in an Allowance victory. Has won two straight races after finishing third at first asking. Trainer W. Mott & Jockey J. Ortiz are winning 35% together over the past 31 weeks. You can't ignore that. This 3-year old colt by Street Sense will be stretching out for the first time. Should not be a problem. Mott wins 16% in this role. Longshot!
#4 Weyburn (12/1), trained by James Jerkins and ridden by Paco Lopez
Has finished first or second in four of seven (2-2-0) career starts with earnings of $343,520. Finished fourth in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial, second in the TVG Pegasus and fourth in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy. His past performances are very telling. Weyburn is very capable of winning a Listed stakes or even a Grade 3, like the Gotham. But when this 3-year old colt by the late Pioneer of the Nile steps up in class, Weyburn gets beat. Better suited at running 1 mile or less. He's 0-for-2 at this distance and has the worst late-pace speed figures of this bunch. Toss!
#5 I am Redeemed (20/1), trained by Penny Pearce and ridden by Abner Adorno
The local bred has finished first or second (3-1-0) in four of seven career starts with earnings of 112,200. He's taking a major step up in class. He obviously loves this track with three wins and one second. He earned a career-best 111 Equibase speed figure on a sloppy track in winning the Storm Cat Stakes on August 23 right here at Parx. The level of competition he's faced so far is nothing to write home about. This horse's chances of winning go up exponentially if the track is wet, sloppy, or muddy. He will save ground and make one big run late. Longshot!
#6 Bourbonic (12/1), trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Kendrick Carmouche
This 3-year old son of Bernardini has finished in the money in five of nine (3-1-1) lifetime starts with earnings of $575,880. His last victory was four starts back (April 23) taking the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. His next three races were a 13th place finish in the Kentucky Derby, fifth place in the Belmont Stakes, and third in the West Virginia derby. I like his chances much better on an off track. He has raced once at Parx finishing second in an AOC (Allowance-Optional claiming) race back in February. Todd Pletcher wins 22% in all stakes races. Declining speed figures is concerning though. Toss!
#7 Hot Rod Charlie (5/2), trained by Doug O'Neil and ridden by Flavien Prat
Takes over the role of ML favorite after the scratch of Medina Spirit (See below). The 3-year old colt by Oxbow has hit the board in 7 of 10 (2-2-3) career starts with earnings of $1,214,500. Very impressive. HRC crossed the finish line first in the Grade 1 TVG Haskell, but the stewards ruled he interfered down the stretch and was placed 7th. He earned a career-best 113 Equibase speed figure. You might remember HRC finished third in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby behind Mandaloun and Medina Spirit, beaten by just one length. Two races back, HRC finished second in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, beaten 1 1/4 lengths to Essential Quality. There is a lot to love about this horse, especially with the scratch of Medina Spirit, who would have been the post time favorite. Flavien Prat is arguably one the best jockeys in the nation. HRC has the fastest middle pace and late pace speed figures of this bunch. With a clean start, HRC looks like a solid wager. Don't like HRC if the track is wet! The One to Beat!
#8 Midnight Bourbon (5/1), trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr.
The 3-year old colt by Tiznow has hit the board in nine of 11 (2-4-3) career starts with earnings of $903,920. His last three races read like this. A second place finish in the Grade 1 Travers last month, DNF (did not finish) in the Grade 1 Haskell, and second in the Preakness Stakes. He earned a career-best 109 Equibase speed figure when finishing second by a nose to Essential Quality on August 28. MB gets overplayed because people like his name. With that said, you have to like his chances off that performance in the Travers. How will he handle racing twice in the less than a month? Contender!
#9 Medina Spirit (2/1), trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by John Velazquez
Medina Spirit has been SCRATCHED and will point to the Grade 1 Awesome Again at Santa Anita on October 2. Tizamagician, Tripoli, Express Train, Rock Your World and others look to take down Medina Spirit.
#10 Americanrevolution (15/1), trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Luis Saez
The 3-year old son by Constitution has won three of four career starts with earnings of $27,535. Improving speed figures in his first four starts. From a 67 to career-best 108 in the Albany Stakes on August 27. This is a major step up in class but certainly has the pedigree, connections, and form to improve once again. That win in his last race was this same distance of 1 1/8 miles. He will likely go for the lead from that outside post. Todd Pletcher wins 28% off horse win in last start. Luis Saez wins 25% of his races going 1 1/8 miles on dirt. Live Longshot contender!
Jeff's Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby Selections (Race 12)
Play #7 Hot Rod Charlie to Win & Place
Play #10 Americanrevolution to Win, Place, and Show
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