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Pennsylvania Derby Day
Packing a raincoat and hopefully some winners for PA Derby Day
Seems fitting after eight weeks focused on handicapping the summer of rain in Saratoga, we’ve arrived in Bensalem, PA planning for potential washout conditions.
It will likely be wet and windy today for the biggest day in Pennsylvania racing. But with two $1 million dollar races on tap, it’s pretty easy to shrug off the weather concerns.
Fourteen races scheduled today. There are two scheduled for the turf but will be shocked if the Alphabet Soup sees the green.
Great breakdown of the big races and some PA racing thoughts from Chuck Simon this morning.
I’ll be talking about the races on the Parx Simulcast feed. I’ll have a preshow with my friend and Parx announcer Jessica Paquette at 11 AM. You can watch along on any ADW thru Parx video.
Our friend Matt Bernier will have you covered on FanDuel TV.
Excited for the opportunity today at Parx. After two decades of mocking handicappers for their picks on these feeds, well, today the shoe is squarely on the other foot.
I’m sure the Philadelphia fans will love a Boston guy making picks.
As for the big race, the Grade One PA Derby. Race 13. Postime 6:10 EST.
#3 Saudi Crown (7/2) has done little wrong in his brief career. His two losses have both come by a nose. In his stakes debut in the Dwyer, he got whisker to the super-talented Fort Bragg. In the Jim Dandy last time, he just got nailed at the wire by Forte.
He’s fast. He has a pace advantage early in this race. He’s run well on a wet track. He’s training well. I hate to be so obvious in a big spot, but he’s a stand-out to me.
We’re not getting 7/2 - we’re looking at 2-1 or so. And that’s the knock.
#11 Reincarnate ships in for Bob Baffert. All Baffert has done is win four of the last eight runnings of this race and three of the last five since it became a Grade I.
He’s just nowhere near as fast as Saudi Crown on paper. The reports have this horse working up a storm in California, so it won’t be a surprise when he runs well. But pinned outside and needing a career-best effort, even at 3-1 he’d be an underlay. But he’s one of three I think can win this race.
#4 Magic Tap is my other win candidate. He showed real fight in trying to rally back against Tapit’s Conquest at Ellis Park. Then last time showed that same fight in running down a good older horse in Film Star at Saratoga. Actually lost to Saudi Crown in his debut but since stretching out has been a different horse.
He always takes money, but I’ve never gotten the love for #5 Scottland. Seems a notch below the best of this crop.
I wanted to like #10 Il Miracolo at 8-1 or so, but the wandering in the lane in that Smarty Jones win is not going to play here. His one off-track race was also pretty poor, even with the 426 Tomlinson.
#2 Dreamlike is my other “price.” Was bet like a sure thing before stumbling badly and losing all chance in his last start. He only has one career win and is probably too slow, but if you’re looking at the bottom of tris and supers, I would include.
#3 Saudi Crown
#4 Magic Tap
# 2 Dreamlike
I’ll be singling Saudi Crown in the mandatory payout Pick 5. Well, I say that now, but honestly, I’ll want to see how the track is playing.
Talking to folks here who have watched thousands of races on an off-track here, I’ve gotten different opinions on how the track will play. If speed is good, I’ll be okay with that single. We’ll see.
In the Grade One Cotillion, I don’t know if we’re getting 5-1 but I really like #5 Occult. Ran a huge race last time at Monmouth. Chad Brown then trains up to this. She had been working heads up with Alabama winner Randomized all spring. That’s a good sign. 2-2 on an off-track. A win at the distance. I think she’s sitting on bog race and probably needs it to beat the ultra game #3 Pretty Mischievous. Will be pressing Occult in the aforementioned Pick 5. A lot of fans here rooting for Foggy Night.
Since I did the work, here’s my quick look at the whole card.
Looking forward to seeing #1 Calle Amada run after her second to Ways and Means. But go watch the replays on the 3. Not impossible.
Race 9 (Guessing this is off the turf we’ll see)
Singling #5 Gunite to start the Pick 5.
#5 Nautical Star is very interesting. Actually beat #9 Ryvit back at Oaklawn. A lot of options for the trainer and they end up here…
I will try and update for scratched and link that out on Twitter.
Good luck if you’re playing. Come say hello if you’re in the building!
And stay dry.