Stakes Spot Plays for Parx for September 23
A total of 10 stakes contests, headlined by a pair of Grade 1 tilts, will headline a massive day of action at Parx on Saturday. The signature day of the meeting attracted a bevy of top horses and races, and I have multiple horses of interest on the fine card.
Race 7 – Greenwood Cup S. (G3)
The 12-furlong tilt on the main oval attracted eight led by the superb #6 Next (8-5), who is the obvious one to beat. This William Cowans pupil has really elevated his game since moving to marathon races on the dirt with tallies in four of his last five showings, led by a sensational 11-length waltz in the Birdstone S. at Saratoga last time out. The Not This Time gelding is the standout in this division and will be super tough to challenge with his best under Luan Machado.
#8 Bear Oak (8-1) could fill out the exacta while making his third run since being claimed by Norm Casse. The Giant Oak six-year-old has won or placed in eight of his nine tries in 2023 and has the tactical speed to sit a good trip despite drawing widest in the field. Tyler Gaffalione riding adds to his appeal.
#4 Bear Oak pulls off a 17/1 upset in R5 at Saratoga, also back-to-back wins for the 6-year-old gelding! 🐻@NormCasse trains and @RSantana_Jr had the mount. A trainer/jockey combo that has been hot lately! 🔥— TwinSpires Racing 🏇 (@TwinSpires) August 26, 2023
🎥 #TwinSpiresReplay pic.twitter.com/jksVJafkZC
Race 10 – Parx Dirt Mile S.
The Lindsay Schultz-conditioned #6 Whelen Springs (5-1) was not a surprise to me when taking the Iselin S. (G3) at Monmouth Park most recently and I’ll tab the vastly improved colt for success in his local debut. The Street Sense four-year-old has responded quite well to the removal of blinkers since joining this outfit, and the Arkansas-bred draws outside of the major threat in the field to allow Jose Ferrer a target every step of the way in the event. The cutback from 1 1/16 miles will be a benefit, as well.
Race 11 – Gallant Bob S. (G2)
The $400,000 dash for three-year-olds on the main strip will see 10 go postward in a very attractive betting heat. While I do believe that #9 Ryvit (5-2) is the deserving favorite and one to beat in the six-furlong contest, I will dabble with the speedy #7 Sir Lancelot (6-1) at a nice price with John Velazquez in the stirrups. The Michael Stidham pupil is not especially consistent, but he has fine gate presence in a field lacking an abundance of pace, and he has faced some talented sprinters on the dirt in his lifetime, as well. This Goldencents gelding has improved in each of his 2023 assignments in advance of Saturday and rates as the one to catch at the top of the lane.