Graded stakes galore: The week in social media
Late Night Pow Wow won the G3 Charles Town Oaks. Photo by Coady Photography.
A big weekend of races is set for Mid-Atlantic fans this weekend. All eyes will be on Parx Racing this Saturday for the running of two major Grade 1 races. Then, that same night the racing world will turn its attention to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races for more stakes action and the Race for the Ribbon. And that’s not all.
Here is what the racing world has been talking about in the Mid-Atlantic region this week:
Racing for the Ribbon
A big weekend of racing is set for Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, as this Saturday will be celebrated by the $300,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3), as part of the 11th renewal of Race for the Ribbon Day.
In partnership with the West Virginia Breast Health Initiative, Charles Town’s Race for the Ribbon Day was created to help raise money for the treatment and care of breast cancer in the state of West Virginia. Events created to raise awareness for the cause will be held throughout the day in attempt to help grow the $160,000 donation pool that the event has already helped earn in the past.
Set as Race 11 with a post time of 10:15 P.M. EDT, the Charles Town Oaks has attracted a field of 10 for the 7-furlong event. Fashion Faux Pas has been chosen as the 7-2 favorite for the race and will be breaking from post 7 as she attempts to add a third stakes victory to her name.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races will have a special first post time for Saturday, starting at 5 P.M. EDT.
Laurel Park’s “September to Remember” hits its stride Saturday, as well, with a 12-race card featuring a pair of Grade 3 events.
The Grade 3 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash, a six-furlong sprint for three-year-olds and up, will go as the eighth race and Grade 3 winner New York Central is the 5-2 morning line favorite. One race prior, the Chuck Lawrence-trained Glorious Empire, a Grade 1 winner, headlines the Grade 3 Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup.
There are several other stakes on the card, and post time is 12:25.
Pennsylvania Derby and Cotillion highlight Parx weekend
All eyes will be on Parx Racing this Saturday, September 21, as the running of the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby is set to commence.
The Grade 1 event lost a bit of its spark this year when it was announced that Haskell Invitational (G1) winner Maximum Security was not going to compete in the race. Back in May the inauspicious colt crossed the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby only to be disqualified and placed 17th for interference, and now it appears that drama and dismay has found the unlucky colt once again. Complications with Maximum Security’s colon will leave him on the bench for the running of the Pennsylvania Derby, and possibly the rest of the year. With the absence of the horse who was likely to be a heavy favorite, the 1 1/8-mile event is now a wide open race.
Six horses will march to post for the Pennsylvania Derby (G1), with honors of favoritism going to the Bob Baffert trainee, Improbable, who will be breaking from post 2 with 3-1 odds. The rest of the field consists of graded stakes-placed and former claimer, Math Wizard, Shanghai Superfly, Preakness Stakes hero War of Will, Smarty Jones Stakes (G3) winner Spun to Run, and multiple graded stakes winner, Mr. Money.
Post time for the Pennsylvania Derby is 5:48 P.M. EDT.
The Pennsylvania Derby is not the only race to look forward to this Saturday at Parx Racing. The $1 million Cotillion Stakes will also be taking place and is set for 5:14 P.M. EST, with a deep field of talented runners lined up for the 1 1/16-mile test.
The undefeated winner of the Coaching Club American Oaks, Guarana, enters the Cotillion Stakes as the 9/5 morning line favorite. However, the talented daughter of Ghostzapper is going to have her class tested on Saturday, as she will be squaring off with the likes of Kentucky Oaks hero Serengeti Empress, multiple graded stakes winner Bellafina, and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies champion, Jaywalk.
While the four aforementioned fillies will undoubtedly headline the showdown on Saturday, the Cotillion Stakes is far from a four-horse race. The clash of heavyweights on Saturday will also include the likes of Afleet Destiny, Street Band, Jeltrin, Collegeville Girl, Horologist, She Makes Me Smile, and Sweet Sammi D.
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Threes Over Deuces surged late along the rail to win Laurel Park’s Independence Day featured allowance and push his earnings past $350,000.
Heavily favored Gufo had to work for it but rallied to win the Grade 3 Kent Stakes at Delaware Park and set a track record in the process.
Project Whiskey, a Butch Reid trainee, pulled a 38-1 upset in Saturday’s Grade 3 Delaware Oaks, earning 50 points towards the Kentucky Oaks.
Returning from an eight-month layoff, Laki took advantage of a speed duel to rally to victory in Monmouth Park’s opening day feature.
Trainer Lacey Gaudet’s recent plans haven’t quite worked out for Long Point Beach, but a good outing in Saturday’s Delaware Oaks would solve that.