MATCH Series In Focus: PTHA President’s Cup

by | Aug 25, 2018 | Breaking, Handicapping, PA Racing, Pennsylvania

Rose Brier

Racing at Parx. Photo By Taylor Ejdys/EQUI-PHOTO. 

Our In Focus Guide offers the most in-depth analysis and commentary to the MATCH Series race of the weekend, the PTHA President’s Cup at Parx Racing.

RACE 7 – SALVATORE M. DEBUNDA PTHA PRESIDEN’TS CUP

RACE PARTICULARS: Race 7 (3:43pm EDT), $100,000 guaranteed purse for 3yo and up, 1 1/8

THE FIELD

  1. Page McKenney (2-1)Scratched
  2. Aztec Sense (5-2): Navarro trainee enters riding a five-race win streak, two in stakes company… Last four were at odds-on, including 1-20 in last… Has shown ability to lead, stalk, or close… Regular pilot Paco Lopez passes on this engagement — he’s set to ride Roy H in a G2 at DMR — but picking up Kendrick Carmouche nothing to sneeze at… Three of those wins came vs. next-out winners… Four-for-four over the strip… With scratch of the favorite, can be formidable here…
  3. Two Weeks Off (6-1): Guerrero trainee bested allowance foes in last, which was second off the claim… Owns six wins over the strip and has won five of last nine overall… Finished third in only try at the distance… Will need best effort here… Pilot from last two remains aboard…
  4. Small Bear (8-1): One of two runners here with a win at the 9-furlong trip… Has been toiling on turf of late but has been in the exacta four of six tries on fast dirt… Closing sort has been at least 5-1 in every start on the page… NY shipper will have local pilot Emmanuel Esquivel up…
  5. G Zap (5-1): Butch Reid trainee rallied smartly to win a 50k claimer at this distance at the Spa in last when getting a perfect setup for his second straight victory… Unlikely to get that sort of congenial pace scenario here… Rider of last two, Carmouche, jumps ship for #2 here… Reid will leg up local stalwart Frankie Pennington… Will need a big effort and some help from the pace in this spot…
  6. Thirstforlife (4-1): Stay Thirsty gelding saw his modest two-race win streak snapped in last when beaten a couple lengths in the G3 Cornhusker… Has been away since that July 6 tilt, though sporting a work tab that includes two bullet moves… Cornhusker winner Remembering Rita returned to be well-beaten fourth in the G3 Monmouth Cup in next test… Joe Rocco, Jr. is named…

THE PICKS

  1. #2 Aztec Sense (5-2): Too many positives to ignore as runner looks to go five-for-five in Bemsalem
  2. #5 G Zap (5-1): Will be running on late — too late?
  3. #3 Small Bear (8-1): Turf to dirt switch shouldn’t be an issue for NY shipper

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