Parked at Parx – Pennsylvania Derby Highlights Weekend Action

Saturday is the biggest day at Parx / Philadelphia Park during what is a year round racing schedule. The one million dollar PA Derby is a Grade II featuring a diverse field of eight that might have Breeders Cup aspirations come November.  Run at a mile and an eighth, here’s a rundown of the PA Derby field:

#1 STEPHANOATSEE (12-1) – Looks to be up against it here, his last race was a win in an optional $16K claimer at Delaware Park. He showed some promise as a two year old, but that hasn’t carried over to this year. I’ll pass.

#2 CASUAL TRICK (8-1) – 3 for 8 lifetime, but what I like is two of those wins came on this track which could prove to be a huge advantage. Horses that have run with success at Parx tend to do well; interesting at a bit of a price.

#3 HANDSOME MIKE (20-1) – This horse is nothing more than a race filler in my opinion. I can’t find anything that leaves me to believe he can compete in this spot. Looks to be more of a synthetic/turf horse as well.

#4 ALPHA (6/5) – The mid-summer derby co-champion is back in action and looks awfully tough in this spot. In the Travers he ran wide, but refused to lose and battled the whole way to the line. ALPHA is proven at this distance and further around two turns which some entered in the race can’t say. The biggest question might not be with the horse, but rather the jockey. Ramon Dominguez will be aboard again and while he is an exceptional rider, he does not always fare well outside New York.

#5 JUNEBUGRED (20-1) – Other than a couple decent morning workouts, this horse looks overmatched.

#6 GOLDEN TICKET (5/2) – Co-winner of the Travers looks tough as well, however, instead of getting the 33-1 odds in the Travers, he’ll be at a short price and vie for favoritism. He can win, but at low odds and a similar running style to ALPHA, CSABA and MACHO MACHO, I’ll let him beat me until he proves the Travers wasn’t a fluke.

#7 CSABA (5-1) – Likely pacesetter will try and take them gate to wire. Without competitors that will clearly push the pace, CSABA could be a serious threat with an easy lead. He’s proven around two turns, loves a fast dirt track, and the added blinkers indicates Rajiv Maragh might try to steal this one from the front.

#8 MACHO MACHO (4-1) – Definitely the wildcard of the race, MACHO MACHO comes in off a win the West Virginia Derby. In seven career starts, he’s only been off the board once. Just a hard knocking horse who always gives it his all. Look for him to sit mid pack and make his move from third or fourth place.

Selections:

#7 CSABA

#8 MACHO MACHO

#4 ALPHA

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One Response to Parked at Parx – Pennsylvania Derby Highlights Weekend Action

  1. Steve says:

    Dylan,
    Your top pick CSABA gets a nice 10 lb weight break (along w/ STEPHANOATSEE, HANDSOME MIKE & CASUAL TRICK) so lots of places to look if you think ALPHA or GOLDEN TICKET is vulnerable. I’m playing MACHO MACHO to win, but will use some long shots under (especially HANDSOME MIKE) in the exacta and trifecta.

    QUESTING should dominate the Cotillion in Race 10. At even money she’s an overlay, but think she’ll be less than 4/5 so playing a QUESTING / HANDSOME MIKE, MACHO MACHO daily double to get more value.

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