From a Parx Racing release
Parx Racing’s September Spectacular of Racing kicks off on Labor Day with four of the track’s major stakes and over $1 million in purses. All featured on the Monday holiday card are the $350,000 Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes, the $350,000 Grade 3 Turf Monster Handicap, the $200,000 Grade 3 Greenwood Cup and the $200,000 Turf Amazon Handicap. At one mile and seventy yards, the Smarty Jones Stakes features some of the nation’s top three year-olds and serves as a prep for the $1 million G2 Pennsylvania Derby run here Saturday, September 21st. The Turf Monster is the track’s top turf sprint of the year contested at five furlongs on the grass. The Greenwood Cup is the track’s top long distance race run at a mile and a half on the main track and the Turf Amazon will be contested by some the best female turf sprinters in the country.
The track will have a special giveaway item on Labor Day, a handsome Parx pullstring bag. Fans should note that the doors will open at 10AM with post time scheduled for 12:25PM. Fans can also enjoy live music and free Family Fun in the picnic grove. The band “Axis” is set to perform while kids can enjoy free pony rides, moon bounces, face painting and more all afternoon.
Heading the ten horse field for the $350K Smarty Jones Stakes are Mike Repole’s Micromanage and John Oxley’s Uncaptured. Micromanage, a Medaglia D’Oro colt, races out of the Todd Pletcher barn and is coming off a third behind runaway winner Verrazano in the G1 Haskell. In his Haskell prep, he came from off the pace to win the $100K Long Branch. Joe Bravo is set to ride. Uncaptured is a multiple graded winner trained by Canadian standout Mark Casse. The Lion Heart colt shows two graded wins as a two year-old, the G3 Iroquois and the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club, both at Churchill. His most recent start was July 30th when he won the $500K Prince of Wales at Fort Erie. Miguel Mena gets the mount.
Once again, the Turf Monster is absolutely loaded, featuring two, two-time winners. The 2011 and 2012 winner, the extraordinary Ben’s Cat is back looking for a three-peat. The 7 year-old gelded son of Parker’s Storm Cat has won an incredible 22 of 33 career starts for The Jim Stable and trainer King Leatherbury and has amassed nearly $1.6 million in earnings. The ageless Chamberlain Bridge will be here seeking his third Turf Monster.. He won this event in 2009 and 2010 and went on to win the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint in 2010 as well. He’s won 19 career races and better than $1.9 million. The “Bridge” wears the colors of Moore Management and is trained by Bret Calhoun. Also in the field is the speedy Tightend Touchdown. He came within .01 of the course record at Penn National in June while winning the PA Governors Cup and just turned at half mile over the Saratoga course in an eye opening 43.55 in his most recent start.
Stamina is the name of the game in the G3 Greenwood Cup. Trainer Mark Casse will send out Pool Play, a six year-old son of Silver Deputy who’s won better than $1.2 million in his career. Over the past nine months he’s faced the likes of Fort Larned and Graydar, two of the nation’s top handicap horses. Winner of last year’s G2 Hawthorne Gold Cup, he should benefit from the softer company he’ll see here Monday. Locals will have their eyes on the improved Indian Jones. He’s come from well back to win his last two allowance efforts but will need to get the added distance against stiffer competition for trainer Phil Aristone.
The Turf Amazon is led again by Richard Santulli’s Sensible Lady. The 4 year-old Street Sense was favored in this race last year, but a wide trip from far back left her a length short at 7-5. She’s won 9 of 18 lifetime, including stakes wins this year at Pimlico and Colonial.
First post time for Labor Day is 12:25PM and again the doors open to the public at 10AM.
(Featured image, of Ben’s Cat, by Laurie Asseo.)