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Parx Racing 9/24/22
PA Derby Card!
Race 1: 9-2-12-5
- I think this opening race is a super tough group of 2yos. I honestly think 5 horses can win this race with 11 being the 5th choice but I only wanna go over the top 4. My top pick is the #9 Tuskegee Airmen. This nicely bred and somewhat expensive 2yo colt has high expectations from the Servis crew from what I am hearing. This one was supposed to debut at Saratoga but there was bad weather so they never shipped. Since then he worked a bullet out of the gate and in the mornings the gate works break from the 7F schute which is helpful today as he is debuting at 7F. Should be the one to beat if ready. Then we have the two Uriah horses only one of which I am using. I want to talk about both as Uriah St. Lewis Jr, the son of the boss man over there likes both and said to me on Wednesday that both are working very well but only one has impressed me on race day and that is the #2 All Eyes On You. This one actually attracts Irad Ortiz Jr who I am sure will choose the Pletcher on the AE if that horse was to draw in, but until then Irad is riding for Uriah. Should be what gets him over the hump. #12 Didinger is another nice horse that has been running here. He finished a game 3rd in Saratoga last time out which helps him out here against this bunch. Has ability. #5 is Checkitup for John Servis is another horse that is super interesting. This horse had so much trouble in debut and now Rosario rides. I expect improvement here.
Race 2: 12-9-4-10
- #12 Bruno Barber Girl has strung a few 2nds together and has been itching to go a little longer. She has been very competitive but she is a horse that gets going a little later than others. She has improved in each start and this will be her 3rd race with blinkers. Should be tough. #9 Majestic Creed improved a ton in her second start. I think she is still learning but with Rosario aboard I like her chances. #4 Prize Debate is an interesting debutante. She gets Mychel Sanchez aboard and he often works horses at Fair Hill where this horse was working in preparation for her debut. The workouts are strong and we will get a price since the connections aren’t as prominent. Finally, #10 Foggy Night is the only other horse I think has a shot here. She lost to Talk To The Judge who is a solid filly. She has followed up that race with some solid works where she got better in each one. If she matured enough she should be able to take that next step.
Race 3: 10-9-7-4
- This race on paper is the Jamie Ness race. I personally don’t think anyone can beat either of the Ness options. #10 Exit Right is the horse to beat on his best day. This horse is 10 for 18 lifetime at Parx and add in 4 seconds and 2 thirds. This horse is the definition of a horse for course. Should be tough as he likes to go to the front. #9 Hard Sting is the other Ness entrant. This horse is a deep closer. So not only does Ness have the possible speed of the speed but he also has a strong closer in the field. If others go with Exit Right, then Hard Sting will be flying late. #7 Malibu Star is an interesting horse here. The apprentice has been giving this horse very good trips leading into this race despite who trained the horse. I think this barn fits a lot better for the horse and I expect this one to take a step forward. #4 Vikram is a horse I like underneath simply because the barn has been on fire this week with their entrants. Add in jockey Angel A Rodriguez who has been riding recently at Parx in limited quantities but has been riding well, makes this horse very interesting underneath.
Race 4: 9-5-1-7
- #9 Marion Grace was flying late in her debut. She never was worse than 2nd but she gained ground as the race developed. Some solid works coming into this stake and I know the connections are high on her to take that step forward. #5 Flor de Sombra is a good horse and the horse to beat. I think this horse has some extra in the tank after being geared down in a romp last time out. Mychel Sanchez gets the call today and I like the switch even though either jockey would fit this one. #1 Midnight Parade is romped in debut but against a weak Penn National field. I think she is outclassed a tad but if she is legitimately that good we will find out today. #7 Uptown Amanda is a horse that popped on debut and ran huge but the recent try was underwhelming. I think she has ability but I can’t trust her until she shows it again.
Race 5: 6-4-2-9
- I think this race is between two horses and two horses only. My top pick will be the #6 Gordian Knot who blew the field away on debut. I think this horse is the goods and I liked him on debut as well. Won’t get the price we got on debut but he is very talented. #4 Ninetyprcentmaddie is another very good horse. He won the Whistle Pig last time out which wasn’t an easy field. He also had a huge workout last week and looks ready to stay undefeated. The #2 Keithsendshelloooo is a horse I have to use underneath. He right now in this stage of his career is the definition of a hanger. I think he is talented but he can’t finish the job. #9 In Spades debuted here at Parx for Todd Pletcher with Irad in the irons that day. He ran very poorly but they add blinkers and that might help him mature and settle down. Should be running late and could win.
Race 6: 8-3-1
- I only really want one horse in this field and it is the #8 Leader of the Band. This horse has really come into form for John Servis. I loved this horse at Saratoga last time out and I think that the return to Parx will be beneficial. #3 Love in the Air is one of the other Servis horses in this spot. I think this one is a step below but still better than most in this group. She is just as good on turf as she is on dirt and I think the surface switch back to dirt won’t hurt her. #1 Chub Wagon is a classy horse but her last race was not what I wanted to see out of her. She still is talented but I don’t think she can compete with Leader of the Band right now.
Race 7: 2-8-4-5
- #2 Mind Control is the class of the field and is a proven good older horse. He is the horse to beat in my opinion and the reigning champion of the Parx Dirt Mile. I think he can be beat but on small tickets, Mind Control is a single. #8 Derby House is the other horse I want in this race for any spread tickets. Derby House was a monster when in the care of Penny Pearce. Now in the Juan Carlos Guerrero barn, I think the production can be similar. If he has his A game today, he will be a threat to take down Mind Control. #4 Far Mo Power is a good horse underneath and has an outside chance to win. #5 Too Boss attracts Irad Ortiz Jr, and has a very good record at Parx. Should be a horse in contention.
Race 8: 8-7-9
- #8 Fearless is the single here. I don’t think anyone in this race can beat this one at this level or distance. He has been dominant in 2022 and has been dominant at multiple distances. #7 The Reds is a solid horse underneath for Saffie. I think the further the better for this one but this being his first try at this distance makes me worrisome. #9 Forewarned is a good consistent grinder type of horse. The further the better for this one and I like him underneath. I hope the connections can win but Fearless is one tough horse.
Race 9: 1-4-2
- #1 That’s Right is going to be on the lead most likely or close enough to it to have a shot. The Turf Monster is a very tough race to win year in and year out and this field shows that. I think that if this one can get out in front from the rail that he will be tough to catch but I won’t be only using him. I also like the #4 Nothing Better who has been running at Monmouth in a couple smaller stakes. Those races fit here and now he gets Luis Saez aboard. All green flags in my book. #2 Surprise Boss won at Belmont in the spring and ran solid in some stakes at both Belmont and Saratoga after that. Then Juan Vasquez was suspended and this horse took a major step back in production for Rafael Rohena as his new trainer. That being said, the bad race was at Saratoga and he had a rough trip. Now he gets Irad Ortiz and comes to Parx, both green flags. Should be able to improve.
Race 10: 14-11-3
- #14 Scaramouche is the horse to beat but isn’t a single. If he didn’t have the 14 hole I would be singling this one. I love Scaramouche and I hope that his ability and the jockey change to John Velazquez will be able to overcome the bad post. #11 Nakatomi is another really impressive horse. He gets a better post and Joel Rosario. This will be his first race at Parx which is always a tough task in its own but I think he is a very nice and talented horse for Wesley Ward. #3 Provocateur is in for Pletcher and this horse is a grinder. I think Irad getting back on this one will be the thing that can provide this horse a win. Irad has ridden this horse in his best two races in my opinion and returns to ride this one today.
Race 11: 1-6-7
- #1 Green Up impressed the hell out of me in her most recent start which came here at Parx in the local prep for this current race. Irad rode her that day and she improved her beyer from 86 to 100. This was her best race and I think she really likes the track at Parx. Should be able to run big today. #6 Secret Oath is the one to beat on paper. She is the class of the class and she doesn’t have to worry about facing Nest today. If she runs her race she is by far the horse to beat. #7 Shahama is a horse that is getting better in each start and gets Prat today. I think she needs lasix to really shine but her recent maturity and increase in ability is hard to ignore.
Race 12: 7-5-8
- #7 Tawny Port is my top pick in the PA Derby. I think Tawny Port is sitting on a huge effort and should like this type of track. Irad can sweep the G1 Double here in my opinion and if it isn’t Tawny Port then the other Brad Cox entrant, #5 Cyberknife is the one I expect to perform big. Cyberknife is on fire right now and the Haskell was very good. The Travers was a winning effort but Epicenter is a class above the other 3yos this season. No Epicenter today so if Cyberknife is ready to go, he can win. #8 Taiba is the horse I think will win though, not necessarily the horse I want to win or will be backing. If Bob Baffert wins with Taiba here, he will hold the record for most PA Derby wins with 4. I think Taiba is better today than the Haskell. Should like this track but Mike Smith has to use his brain today when riding Taiba.
Race 13: 1-8-6-7
- I love the #1 Buy Land and See as a single in the late pick 5. He is 2 for 2 at Parx on the turf course which is unique in its own way. I think this horse being in the Lupe Preciado barn now and getting a jockey like Mychel Sanchez who wins 23-24% of the time with Lupe are both green flags. This horse can sit off the pace just enough and with a lot of horses in this field that are taking huge chances or never even been on turf, he might be able to sit in the right spot. Definitely the one to beat in my opinion. #8 Crisper is a Penn National shipper that comes flying late out of the clouds. His only win was at Parx in a Maiden race, and I think that he might like the give in the parx turf course a little more. Should be in the mix late. #6 Midnight Hauler is another Penn National shipper but this one has a little more experience under his belt and has beaten solid allowance fields his whole career. I just think that his Penn form might not carry over to Parx cause most of the time it doesn’t with these horses. #7 You Must Chill is in for Ness and this one has shown some quick speed at Penn National but is 1 for 1 at Parx and is the reigning champion of this race as he won this race last year. Last year’s edition wasn’t as deep as this years but I think he has a legitimate shot.