PARX PICKS AND HORSES TO WATCH: August 24

Notapradaprice
Notapradaprice won the 2019 G3 Dr. James Penny Memorial Stakes at Parx. Photo by RJ Umberger /EQUI-PHOTO.

Parx Racing has a 12-race card on tap for this afternoon. Post time for the opener is 12:55p.m., and we’ve got Parx picks.

On tap today are three stakes that are preps for the Gallant Bob, Cotillion, and Pennsylvania Derby next month. Do note that the Grade 3 Parx Dash has been postponed until next week.

Carryovers: Jackpot Pick 5, $16,272

Check out our other handicapping here!

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RACE NUMBERCONTENDERSCOMMENTS
Race 81-6-3-4The six-furlong Parx Summer Sprint gets the top three a fees-paid trip to the G2 Gallant Bob… #1 Beren (3-1) scratched out of a spot going two turns against PA-breds yesterday for this spot. He’s two-for-two at the distance, including a stakes win at Belmont and will look to recapture winning ways after a Saratoga try at 9 furlongs that was simply too far… The morning line of 8-5 feels too short on the Brad Cox-trained #6 Privet Moon, whose three wins to date have come at Indiana Downs, Delta Downs, and Ellis Park. Florent Geroux keeps the mount — a positive — but you have to think he’s really here for Fulsome two races later. This one may be controlling speed… Interesting spot here for the filly #3 Dr B (6-1). We’ll toss her last — it was on the turf — and note that her main-track tries are all pretty good…
Race 94-1-6-3The $150,000 Cathryn Sophia serves as a local prep for the G1 Cotillion, and we’ll give the nod here to a local, the John Servis-trained #4 Leader of the Band (4-1). The Bandbox filly took a nice step forward last out, rallying to win the G3 Monmouth Oaks, and, after the scratch of Vequist, is the only graded winner here… Good try last out by #1 Marion Francis (9-2). The Brad Cox trainee was beaten just a half-length for all of it in the G3 Indiana Oaks after pressing the pace, finishing ahead of early leader #3 Lovely Ride (7-2), who’s also here. This one led a long way in that contest and may do so again today but gave way readily in the lane anf finished well behind the top quartet….
Race 114-9-6-8A couple of scratches leave seven in the G3 Smarty Jones, a prep for the Pennsylvania Derby… The favorite in here is another Cox trainee, #6 Fulsome (8-5). This one was a dominant winner of the G3 Matt Winn at Churchill May 29 before a disappointing effort in the Indiana Derby when third as the 2-5 favorite. He’s clearly the most accomplished — and probably the most talented — horse here, but we’re going to try to beat him. We suspect that this is a true prep to add fitness and see if he takes to the surface prior to the PA Derby, and we wonder if he may not be quite tight enough today. So: keep him in the mix, but we’ll try to beat him on top… A horse, on the other hand, for whom a win here would be a major feather in the cap — and who won’t likely show up in the PA Derby — is #4 The King Cheek (8-1). The Jamie Ness trainee beat the then-promising Hozier in the Sir Barton on the Preakness undercard in May but enters this off a couple-month break that followed an up-the-track finish in a grassy stake at Belmont. Ness’s local go-to rider, Ruben Silvera, has the mount and already is two-for-two on this runner. Look for him to be involved from the first jump… #9 Ridin with Biden (7-2) is two-for-three over the strip and gave a good account of himself when second in the G3 Dwyer July 5 at Belmont… #8 Antigravity (8-1) had won two straight but crashed to earth last out in the G1 Haskell. The Hollendorfer trainee is a better fit here than he was there…

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