Two $1 Million Races Saturday at Parx

On Saturday, September 21st, Parx will be the center of the racing world as its two marquee events, the $1 million Cotillion and the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby, head the same card.  The two races will feature some of the best in the three year-old colt and filly divisions and a number of Hall of Famers will come to town to compete.

Over the last few years, the Cotillion has become one of the nation's premier races for three year-old fillies and last year's turned into one of the greatest races in track history. Undefeated and the reigning two year-old filly champion My Miss Aurelia put her spotless record on the line against the hottest young filly in the land, Grade 1 winner, Questing. The two fillies battled head-to-head the entire length of the Parx homestretch as the breathless fans watched My Miss Aurelia prevail by a hard-fought head.

The Pennsylvania Derby saw a rematch of the two colts that raced to a dramatic, rare dead heat in the Travers Stakes, Alpha and Golden Ticket. It would be long shot Handsome Mike, however, who stole the show, upsetting the star studded field at 19-1.  The 2013 G2 Pennsylvania Derby will be a case of déjà vu all over again as Will Take Charge gets set square off against Moreno.  Will Take Charge needed every yard in last month's 1 1/4-mile Travers to catch the speedy longshot Moreno.

The 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby will mark the third meeting between Will Take Charge and Moreno. The latter, coming off a tour de force victory in the July 6 Dwyer at Belmont Park, was the more supported of the two when they first met in the July 27 Jim Dandy Saratoga. In the event it was Will Take Charge, who finished far up the track in all three Triple Crown races, who ran the better of the two when second by a length to Belmont winner Palace Malice.

Third by 3 1/4 lengths in the Jim Dandy, Moreno nearly stole the "Midsummer Derby" under Jose Ortiz, but again Will Take Charge had the gelding's number when getting up in the final strides to win by a nose. 

Two challengers who might keep Moreno somewhat busy on the front end are Speak Logistics and Fury Kapcori. Speak Logistics was most recently second in Parx's version of the Smarty Jones on Labor Day, finishing a neck behind Edge of Reality over a muddy track. California shipper Fury Kapcori, meanwhile, missed by a head in the $100,000 El Cajon at Del Mar on August 30 in his first race back from an extended layoff.

Blue Grass winner Java's War makes his first start for Barclay Tagg, who replaced Ken McPeek as the colt's trainer last month. Unplaced in both the Kentucky Derby and the Swaps, the War Pass colt finished a clear second in the Tampa Bay Derby in his last start over a fast dirt track.

Sheikh Mohammed will be represented in the Pennsylvania Derby by Transparent, who races in the maroon and while Darley colors, and Romansh, who races in the all-blue Godolphin colors. The pair first met in the $100,000 Curlin at Saratoga in late July, with Transparent crossing the wire two lengths in front of his entrymate. However, due to interference he caused around the far turn, Transparent was demoted to fifth and Romash elevated to the winner's circle.

Both colts contested the Travers, with Romansh faring the better of the two. Stalking Moreno from second early, Romansh lost position as the race wore on but was only betean four lengths at the finish. Transparent never fired at all, finishing last of nine, and will race with Lasix for the first time on Saturday.

Restricted stakes winner Battier, a three-time winner at Parx, completes the field.

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Field for the $1 million G2 Pennsylvania Derby

Post Horse Trainer Jockey Morning Line Odds
1 Transparent Kiaran McLaughlin Irad Ortiz, Jr 8-1
1A Romansh Tom Albertrani Rajiv Maragh 8-1
2 Speak Logistics Edward Plesa, Jr. Paco Lopez 5-1
3 Moreno Eric Guillot Jose Ortiz 5-2
4 Battier Todd Pletcher Angel Castillo 12-1
5 Java's War Barclay Tagg Julien Leparoux 4-1
6 Fury Kapcori Jerry Hollendorfer Mike Smith 8-1
7 Will Take Charge D. Wayne Lukas Luis Saez 2-1

Sweet Lulu, Close Hatches square off in Cotillion
by The Handicapper's Edge

Unhappy three years ago when his champion filly Blind Luck lost narrowly while giving 10 pounds to Havre de Grace, Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will see his undefeated Grade 1 winner Sweet Lulu receiving weight from most of her major rivals in Saturday's renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion at Parx Racing over 1 1/16 miles.

More than likely using the Cotillion as a stepping stone to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, Sweet Lulu still commands respect around two turns as she was a convincing allowance winner over older fillies and mares going a mile at Del Mar two back. Under the allowance conditions of the race, Sweet Lulu will carry 117 pounds in the Cotillion.

The Bill Mott-trained Close Hatches has the distinction of being the only horse to defeat divisional leader Princess of Sylmar this year. A 3 1/4-length winner over that rival in the nine-furlong Gazelle at Aqueduct in April, Close Hatches next finished a distant seventh to that filly in the Kentucky Oaks. A distant second when shortening up to a mile in the Acorn on Memorial Day, Close Hatches rebounded to take the 1 1/16-mile Mother Goose by a widening 7 1/4 lengths in her most recent start on June 22. She will tote 124 pounds in the Cotillion.

Seaneen Girl seeks her second win in a row after defeating a modest field by six lengths in the Monmouth Oaks last month for trainer Bernie Flint. It was the first victory in seven starts this season for the filly, who most notably captured the Golden Rod at Churchill Downs as a juvenile. Seaneen Girl and Dancing Afleet, who captured a slowly-run renewal of the Delaware Oaks in her last start, will both carry 122 pounds.

Grade 3 winner My Happy Face has been in the mix in all four starts this term. Runner-up in the Forward Gal at Gulfstream last winter, the Tiz Wonderful filly was an overnight stakes winner at Belmont in June and then finish a distant second to Princess of Sylmar in the Coaching Club American Oaks. She was most recently a neck behind Sweet Lulu in the Test.

Kiaran McLaughlin will saddle the lightly-raced Carnival Court and Asiya in the Cotillion. Carnival Court was the pacesetter in last month's 1 1/4-mile Alabama in her fourth career start, but finished 6 1/4 lengths third to Princess of Sylmar. Asiya also futilely chased Princess of Sylmar this season, in the January 5 Busanda at Aqueduct, but was an impressive 8 1/4-length allowance winner at Saratoga on August 14 following a seven-month layoff.

The Cotillion field is rounded out by Flash Forward, Promise Me More, and Street Girl.

Bet the Cotillion Stakes and 2013 Parx Racing horse racing online with and watch it live on TwinSpiresTV!

G1 Cotillion Stakes Results

Field for the $1 million G1 Cotillion Stakes

Post Horse Trainer Jockey Morning Line Odds
1 Flash Forward Dominick Schettino Rajiv Maragh 20-1
2 Carnival Court Kiaran McLaughlin Luis Saez 8-1
3 Dancing Afleet Tim Ritchey Alex Cintron 15-1
4 Asiya Kiaran McLaughlin Irad Ortiz, Jr. 20-1
5 Seaneen Girl Bernard Flint Paco Lopez 5-1
6 My Happy Face Chad Brown Javier Castellano 9-2
7 Sweet Lulu Jerry Hollendorfer Julien Leparoux 7-2
8 Promise Me More Steve Asmussen Jose Ortiz 10-1
9 Close Hatches Bill Mott Mike Smith 5-2
10 Street Girl Manuel Azpurua Angel Castillo 10-1

Cotillion Stakes/Pennsylvania Derby TV Coverage

Local television coverage this year will be on Comcast Sportsnet. Hosted by Laffit Pincay III and Dick Jerardi along with analysts Mike Battaglia and Maggie Wolfendale, the 90 minute program will start at 4:30PM and feature coverage of the G3 Gallant Bob Stakes, the G2 Pennsylvania Derby and the Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes. 

Join Parx for another historic day of world class thoroughbred racing on its biggest day of the year, Saturday, September 21st. Watch the nation's three year-old stars make their final preparations for the Breeders Cup World Championships, held at Santa Anita on November 1 & 2.

Parx Racing 2013 Season:

Dates: January 1 - December 31
Racing Schedule:
Post Times:

Parx Racing Racetrack Information:

Main track (dirt): 1 mile, oval with 7 furlong and 1 1/4 chutes
Length of stretch from last turn to finish line: 974 feet

Turf: 7 furlongs, oval with 1/ 1/8 chute
Wagers available may include: Win, Place, Show, Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Daily Double, Pick 3, and Pick 4.

Past Pennsylvania Derby Winners

05/28/79 SMARTEN Sam Maple Ryehill Farm Woody Stephens
05/26/80 LIVELY KING Chris Baker Frank A. Bonsal, Jr L. Parker, Jr
05/25/81 SUMMING George Martens C. T. Wilson L. Barrera Laz Barrera
05/31/82 SPANISH DRUMS Jacinto Vasquez Anthony Drakas Anthony Arcodia
05/30/83 DIXIELAND BAND William Passmore Mrs. Bayard Sharp Charles Peoples
05/28/84 MORNING BOB Greg McCarron Brushwood Stable Woody Stephens
09/15/85 SKIP TRIAL Jean Luc Samyn Mrs. Ben Cohen Hubert "Sonny" Hine
09/27/86 BROAD BRUSH Angel Cordero, Jr. Robert Meyerhoff Richard W. Small
10/4/87 AFLEET Gary Stahlbaum R. Kennedy & Taylor Made Farm Phil England
10/1/88 CEFIS Larry Saumell Ryehill Farm Woody Stephens
10/14/89 WESTERN PLAYBOY Kerwin Clark Nancy Vanier & Script R Farm Harvey Vanier
09/3/90 SUMMER SQUALL Pat Day Dogwood Stable Neil Howard
09/2/91 VALLEY CROSSING Andrea Seefeldt Robert Meyerhoff Richard W. Small
09/7/92 THELASTCRUSADE Victor Molina Petrified Stable Pam Shavelson
09/6/93 WALLENDA Herb McCauley Dogwood Stable Frank Alexander
09/5/94 MEADOW FLIGHT Joe Bravo Aliyuee Ben J Stables James Ryerson
09/4/95 PINEING PATTY Larry Melancon W. Cal Partee Lynn Whiting
09/2/96 DEVIL'S HONOR Anthony Black Noreen Carpenito Walter C. Reese
09/1/97 FRISK ME NOW Eddie King, Jr. Carol Dender Robert Durso
09/7/98 ROCK AND ROLL Herberto Castillo Madeline Paulson & Jenny Craig William I. Mott
09/6/99 SMART GUY Robert Colton Goodfellas Stable Timothy Ritchey
09/4/00 PINE DANCE Mike McCarthy George Hofmeister Dermot Weld
09/1/01 MACHO UNO Gary Stevens Stronach Stables, Inc. Joe Orseno
09/2/02 HARLAN'S HOLIDAY Edgar Prado Starlight Stables LLC Todd Pletcher
09/1/03 GRAND HOMBRE Joe Bravo Earle I. Mack Dennis Manning
09/6/04 LOVE OF MONEY Robbie Albarado Jay Em Ess Stable Richard Dutrow, Jr.
09/5/05 SUN KING Rafael Bejarano Tracy Farmer Nick Zito
09/3/07 TIMBER RESERVE Javier Castellano Circle E Stable, Caesar Kimmel,
and Philip Solondz
Four Roses Stable
John Kimmel
09/1/08 ANAK NAKAL Joe Bravo Four Roses Stable Nick Zito
09/7/09 GONE ASTRAY Eddie Castro Phipps Stable Shug McGaughey lll
09/25/10 MORNING Line John Velazquez Thoroughbred Legends Racing Stable Nick Zito
09/24/11 TO HONOR AND SERVE Jose Lezcano Live Oak Plantation William I. Mott