The Grade 2 that wants to be a Grade 1, the Pennsylvania Derby, will be run this Saturday at PARX. With this year’s field, there is no doubt that the Pennsylvania Derby will become a Grade 1 in 2017 so here is an early congrats to the track. This will be the 40th running of the race and all the big names (well a bunch) are showing up. This is arguably the final major stop for the boys before the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. PARX is a unique track that has seen its share of entries ship in and just not like the surface. What will happen this year?
Race: Pennsylvania Derby (G2)
Distance: Mile and an eighth
Purse: $1,000,000 ($1,250,000 if both Nyquist and Exaggerator start)
Age: 3 Year Olds
Date: Saturday, September 24 2016
Post Time: 5:45 PM EST
The Backstory – Over the years I have continued to modify how I break down each race based on input from the readers (Thank for your reading and leaving feedback regardless of the site). Years ago I provided very granular and in-depth analysis of each horse in the field. However, as many claimed the reading was dry and over the top as such I began the change. Here at Longshot Horse Racing, these articles will provide you with data about each horse, how it should shake out, and we will have a little fun doing it.
If you want just the raw numbers then Brisnet, Equibase, or even the Daily Racing Form are right up your alley (and mine since I love them all) but if you want the breakdown with a twist then read on and enjoy. The track record is solid since I tend to stick with the big races each year. You will not find a breakdown of a claiming race next Sunday but if you want the major preps, Triple Crown series, Travers, and more than this is the place for you. After all, any extra data or opposing viewpoint can help you when you handicap a race.
|1||12-1||Awesome Slew||P Lopez|
|His run last out in the G3 Smarty Jones was very impressive scoring by over five comfortable lengths with run to spare. Here is a horse that likes the lead and breaks from Post 1 so you expect a frontend favoring jockey on a front end horse to push the throttle. Issue here is that he will not go alone and there is real talents that will be running with him. On the plus side, he has a graded stakes score over this surface already.|
|The tale of two horses to say the least. That does not imply negativity but rather the situation. We have a large enough body of work to show that he loves the off track and is a step below on a fast surface. If you look then you must go back to his original two victories to find success on a dry surface. But, his two scores this year were on wet tracks albeit against top competition. The weather for Saturday is good so a dry track can be expected. In his favor is what seems to be setting up as a blistering pace. He will be coming late.|
|3||20-1||Summer Revolution||M Smith|
|Smith gets the mount after Castellano decided to hop on Connect. A Hall of Fame jockey is never a bad thing but this could be asking a lot. He is full of speed and will be up front but he is green and appears to prefer a shorter distance. His presence will be felt but it could be in setting this race up for a stalking or closing type.|
|If you look at his last race in the Travers you want to toss him off of a sixth place finish but not so fast. the Travers saw a run from Arrogate that broke records en route to crushing a talented field. For more see my live longshot.|
|While other ran in Saratoga etc. Cupid was taken to tackle stakes in Indiana and West Virginia. Seems like Baffert made the right call as Cupid dispelled all others in both stakes en route to two scores. Bejarano is more than talented and has the mount again but he might be forced into the decision wheel as Cupid likes the front. Can he rate or come from off the pace. That is an unknown at this point against these but that seems like it will be the most logical. Unless of course, Bejarno believe he can set the pace and hold, which is asking a lot.|
|6||30-1||Wild About Deb||T Pereira|
|There is not a whole lotta love here. One career score on the left coast but has been housed here at PARX after the trainer swap. Not really in line to set the pace or really factor here at all. It would take one heck of a step forward in order to hit the board. Just the reality of it.|
|7||6-1||Gun Runner||F Geroux|
|The shine seems to be coming off of him lately but you need to look closer at the last two races. He has excuses in both. In his last, the Travers, the distance might have been a bit much for him and he ran against the insanity of Arrogate. Prior, his Haskell run was over horrible track conditions that were clearly not to his liking. He has a top jockey on his back and excluding those two this horse always runs big even if that ends in a runner-up. His stalking style could work perfectly for the expected race speed. Should not be overlooked.|
|8||20-1||My Man Sam||J Leparoux|
|Remember when he was a wise guy horse in the Kentucky Derby after he flew home late in the Bluegrass Stakes to finish second? Seems like an eternity ago because frankly, he has not done much since then. His closing kick could be perfect for this race but the reality is whether or not he has matured or should he just be an allowance/ named stakes runner. Not much to love unless it is destiny.|
|He was the darling of the world when he entered and came out of the Kentucky Derby undefeated. But then he ran into a bit of fatigue and an off track where he was gobbled up by Exaggerator in the Preakness. He was sent to rest and returned for the Haskell where he ran into poor track and Exaggerator again. Can you toss those? It is getting tough but he seems to be maturing physically,been training to stretch distance, and has shown the ability to rate. He is the deserving favorite but it could be considered more luke warm than in May. Full of ability and talent so do not rule him out.|
|10||15-1||Sunny Ridge||J Bravo|
|A horse destined for exotics placement is probably the way to describe him. It si hard to nail him down because the trainer and group seem to lack a rhyme or reason for what they do with him. He has never laid a clunker but has never stepped to the front of the line in a big race. He managed to finish third in the Haskell at last asking but overall it appears that G1 competition is just a step too far for him to get into winners circle. But if everyone can ever get him razor focused he just might score at big odds, just not this Saturday.|
|11||30-1||Discreet Lover||J Flores|
|A local boy looking to make good in the hometown big one but...this is a bridge that is arguably way too far. There is not to point to that says he is ready to topple any one or more of these. If you are looking for some shining light, he has two scores over this surface but those were against much the lesser competition.|
|12||20-1||Hit It Once More||K Camouche|
|Probably a case of the trainer and owners eyes getting a bit to wide. Sure it is true, he has two stakes scores in his last two race but restricted stakes races are nothing like the level of competition that will be to his inside this Saturday. Drawing the far outside could be the death blow for a horse that wants the front and will have to burn it all to get there before the first turn or get hung five wide. Perfect example of a good but not great horse. To win this race you need to be in one of the great tiers and he is just not.|
2016 Pennsylvania Derby Live Longshot – (4) Connect
He will have to take a step forward to meet the need but at three-years-old level it could happen. As I mentioned already the Travers Stakes happened and it could be a nail in the coffin for many handicappers. But if you go back from that race, you see a solid run in the Curlin where he battled for victory. It is true he was forwardly placed but that is no death curse, not even here.
Breaking from post four could be a gift for this horse. Castellano has two blitz speed horses inside him and could settle to a stalking trip and should be able to get the rail in the second pack. He will be forwardly placed and let the top of the pack burn each other out. It is true he will probably be in a group with Nyquist and Gun Runner but if he saves ground on the rail that might be just enough for Castellano to bring him home.
How will it all shake out? It is almost impossible to tell but based on the data I provided in the contenders analysis and the preceding paragraphs, I present some logical betting options based on your favorite cup of tea or betting style. How do you bet a horse race?? What type of bankroll are you playing with? Is it about having a good time and being a part of the spectacle? Or is it about finding a way to make money? No matter what you want or the size of your bankroll there are different ways you can approach the race.
Below are my examples of how to play the 2016 Pennsylvania Derby based on bankroll. This is a first look at the field in an attempt to maximize a “return” for the 2016 Pennsylvania Derby Predictions, Picks, Live Longshot, Analysis
|$1 Exacta Box||4 with 7 with 9|
|$1 Trifecta Box||4 with 7 with 9|
|$1 Exacta Box||4 with 7 with 9|
|$1 Trifecta Box||4 with 7 with 9|
|$4 Win / Place||4|
|$1 Exacta Box||4 with 7 with 9 with 10|
|$1 Trifecta Box||4 with 7 with 9 with 10|
|$.10 Super Box||4 with 5 with 7 with 9 with 10|