Big races from the big card at Parx Racing Saturday…
Race 7 — Bayern Stakes, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 miles, $150,000 purse
- Encryption (10-1) –Breen trainee might sit the winning trip, and Monmouth ace rider Paco Lopez makes the trip, too. Exchange Rate gelding likes the trip and, though wasn’t showing much before three-month breather, has been firing bullets for a trainer who can win off the bench.
- Freestyler (2-1) — Street Cry gelding has won five of six, and two from his last won next out. Rider Centeno’s won all three times aboard, and runner loves this trip (four for six with two thirds), but doncha wish trainer Bruce Alexander had shown a little more ambition with this guy before now?
- Street Babe (3-1) — Returned to preferred stalk-and-pounce style last out to record third win from seven starts, and Johnny V reprises his riding role here. Right trip could give G3 Mineshaft winner some impact on the outcome.
Race 8 — G3 Gallant Bob Stakes, 3yo, $300,000
- Limousine Liberal (5-2) — Ran terrific race to be second to freakish Runhappy after slugging it out through fast fractions in the G1 King’s Bishop and has every right to find the winner’s circle here.
- Catalina Red (6-1) — Distance-limited Munnings colt found the going too tough in the 8.5 furlong Sam Davis but is undefeated in three tries at six and seven furlongs, all in stakes company. Last out Jackson Bend S. has produced a next-out winner and two next-out stakes-placed horses.
- Hebbronville (5-1) — Joe Bravo’s in to ride G3 winner on a three-race winning streak. Beyers say he’s not fast enough, but he keeps getting the job done — and is undefeated in three tries over the strip.
Race 9 — G1 Cotillion Stakes, 3yo fillies, 1 1/16 miles, $1,000,000
- I’m a Chatterbox (3-1) — Tough-luck daughter of Munnings has shown versatility to lead, stalk and close, and in a race with plenty of early zip, tactical ability will be key. Six straight in the money streak includes two graded wins and a DQ from G1 Coaching Club Oaks.
- Take Charge Brandi (5-1) — Champion juvenile filly saw a four-race win streak snapped last out in the G2 Test after getting cooked up front. Tough spot to get back, as plenty of other speed’s signed up, but she may be speediest of all on stretch out.
- Pangburn (12-1) — Three times graded stakes-placed without getting the money yet, Congrats filly trained by Tony Dutrow figures to get the pace to run at. Filly’s been tinkered with a bit — six tries without Lasix, four without blinkers followed by four with — but has logged all three career wins without blinks, as will be the case here.
Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby, 3yo, 1 1/8 miles, $1,000,000
- Island Town (10-1) — The only runner with a win over the strip was green but very impressive in notching second G3 win of his career last out in the local prep Smarty Jones. Ian Wilkes trainee retains Brian Hernandez in the irons and has won three of four tries at a mile or farther with his only failure in the slop.
- Frosted (5-2) — Consistent sort has kept the very best company and acquitted himself admirably, but he’s rarely quite good enough. Six seconds from 11 starts (versus just two wins) speak to a bit of seconditis, but he is the field’s lone G1 winner (back in April in the Wood).
- Mr. Z (10-1) — D. Wayne Lukas trainee was the talk of the Preakness briefly after convoluted, last-minute sale. He won the Ohio Derby and was second in the G2 Indiana Derby freewheeling it on the lead, which he couldn’t make in the 7f King’s Bishop, and a similar strategy today could see him clearing and taking ’em as far as he can.