A field of eight will line up in Saturday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) including the top two finishers of the Travers (G1) at Saratoga last month.
Will Take Charge beat Moreno by just a head last out in the “Mid-Summer Classic” and is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the biggest race of the year at Parx Racing. Moreno, who came out on the wrong end of the photo in the Travers is the 5-2 second choice.
The rematch has a little added intrigue as Moreno trainer Eric Guillot accused Will Take Charge jockey Luis Saez of using an electrical device to shock his mount in the Travers.
The New York Gaming Commission and the New York State Police are reportedly still investigating the incident.
While the duo figure to take most of the betting action, there is another Grade 1 winner in the field. Java’s War won the Toyota Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland on April 13, but is winless in two starts since, a 13th place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and a fourth in the Swaps (G2).
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin will send out a pair that both exit the Travers. Transparent faded to finish ninth and his stablemate Romansh was up near the pace before weakening to finish fifth.
The Jerry Hollendorfer trained Fury Kapcori ships in from the west coast and is Grade 1 placed, running second in the CashCall Futurity last December at Hollywood Park.
Completing the field are Smarty Jones (G3) runner up Speak Logistics and the Todd Pletcher trained Battier, who was fourth in the Smarty Jones.
Also on the Parx card on Saturday is the $1 million Cotillion (G1) for three-year-old fillies and the $300,000 Gallant Bob (G3) for sprinters that drew a full field of 14.
A friendly reminder that despite being a track with slots fueled purses, Parx has the second highest trifecta takeout in the U.S. At 30%. I’ll be wagering on the races, but will not be taking a dip in the trifecta or supefecta pools.
Let’s head out to Philly for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Parx Racing Race 11 The Pennsylvania Derby (G2) Post time 5:45 ET
6 Fury Kapcori 8-1
7 Will Take Charge 2-1
3 Moreno 5-2
2 Speak Logistics 5-1
Fury Kapcori invades from the west coast for the Jerry Hollendorfer barn and is going to be a decent price in this spot. Last year’s winner of this race was Handsome Mike, a west coast invader who pulled off the upset paying $40.40. Our top pick showed plenty of promise as a juvenile, winning the Palmer Futurity in his lone go on dirt and running second over the fake stuff in the Real Quiet and the CashCall Futurity (G1) at Hollywood Park. The colt came off the bench two back with a fourth against optional claimers and then put in a game effort in a head loss in the El Cajon last out going a mile over the polytrack at Del Mar. The colt looks primed for a top effort here third off the bench and has enough pedigree to handle his first trip at nine furlongs. He is by Tiznow out of a Go for Gin mare. Decent value if this guy goes off near his 8-1 morning line. He is getting seven pounds from our second choice.
Will Take Charge got up late to pull off the upset in the Travers (G1) at the Spa last out at 9-1. The colt was beaten by double digit lengths in each Triple Crown race, and bounced back with a solid second in the Jim Dandy (G2) two back before winning his first Grade 1 last out. The racing surface last out was kind to speed most of the day and the colt was still able to get the job done late. However, tough to take anything less than the 2-1 morning line in this spot.
Moreno battled on gamely in the Travers after setting moderate early fractions and just could not hold off the winner late. The cut back to 1 1/8 miles here should suit this guy. The gelding owns solid early and mid pace numbers but there are a couple of runners in here that should make sure he is not going to get a way with soft early fractions. He has landed in the exacta in 6 of 10 starts this year with three straight triple digit Beyers but does he regress off three straight career tops?
WIN: Fury Kapcori to win at 9-2 or better.
EXACTA: 6,7 / 2,3,6,7
TRIFECTA: 6,7 / 2,3,6,7 / 1,2,3,6,7
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