Weekend Lineup: Cotillion, Pennsylvania Derby Lead Graded Stakes Bonanza At Parx - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Weekend Lineup: Cotillion, Pennsylvania Derby Lead Graded Stakes Bonanza At Parx

Dual Grade 1 winner Cyberknife at Parx Racing on the eve of the Pennsylvania Derby

If you like large, competitive fields, Parx Racing is the place for you on Saturday as the Bensalem, Pa., track's 13-race card features five graded stakes, led by the Grade 1 pairing of the Cotillion for 3-year-old fillies and Pennsylvania Derby for 3-year-olds. The races are chock full of quality and quantity with the Pennsylvania Derby's 11-horse field boasting four Grade 1 winners. A sixth stakes, the ungraded Parx Dirt Mile, features $1.6 million earner and multiple graded stakes winner Mind Control, who comes back to defend his title in the race.

The Parx morning line maker set G1 Santa Anita Derby winner Taiba as the 5-2 favorite over Cyberknife, a two-time Grade 1 winner (Arkansas Derby, Haskell), installed as 3-1 second choice. Cyberknife defeated Taiba by a head in the Haskell, so there's not much to separate them.

Zandon, winner of the G1 Blue Grass Stakes and never worse than third in seven career starts, and G1 Florida Derby winner White Abarrio are the other Grade 1 winners in the lineup.

Secret Oath was made the 2-1 favorite in the Cotillion in a field of nine sophomore fillies and this D. Wayne Lukas filly has danced most of the dances this year, winning three of seven starts, including the G1 Kentucky Oaks and facing colts and geldings in the Arkansas Derby (when third) and Preakness (fourth).

The other graded stakes on Saturday's Parx card are the G2 Gallant Bob Stakes for 3-year-olds going six furlongs, the mile and one-half G3 Greenwood Cup, and G3 Turf Monster going five panels on grass, the latter two races for 3-year-olds and upward.

On Sunday evening, Remington Park in Oklahoma presents its two biggest Thoroughbred races: the Remington Park Oaks and Oklahoma Derby, both G3 events. There are six other stakes on the evening as purses exceed $1 million.

Here's a quick look at some of this weekend's graded stakes:


3:32 p.m. – Grade 3 Greenwood Cup at Parx Racing

Todd Pletcher-trained Fearless will be heavily favored in a field of nine after winning the 1 3/4-mile Birdstone Stakes at Saratoga and will have no trouble handling the Greenwood Cup's 1 1/2-mile distance. Magic Michael is back to defend his title for trainer Jamie Ness.

Greenwood Cup Entries

4:35 p.m. – Grade 2 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx Racing

Provocateur is another from the Pletcher barn, which has entries in seven of the 13 races, and though no match for Jack Christopher in the G1 Woody Stephens in June was a sharp winner of the Jersey Shore Stakes last out at Monmouth Park. To be ridden by champion jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., the Into Mischief colt was made the 4-1 morning line favorite in a field of 14. Scaramouche loves the Parx surface, winning five of six local starts for trainer Guadalupe Preciado, and gets John Velazquez in the saddle.

Gallant Bob Stakes Entries

5:20 p.m. – Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing

While Secret Oath has proven her quality throughout 2022 she didn't scare anyone away from the entry box in this $1-million race going 1 1/16 miles. Chief among her opponents is Green Up, winner of the Cotillion prep at Parx, the Cathryn Sophia Stakes on Aug. 23 for Todd Pletcher and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. That was the Upstart filly's fourth consecutive triumph but the Cotillion will be her first graded stakes attempt. G2 Mother Goose winner Gerrymander was trounced last out by Nest and Secret Oath in the G1 Alabama, but can better that performance. Shahama finished second to Gerrymander in the Mother Goose, then won the G3 Mother Goose. She seems to be improving for Pletcher.

Cotillion Stakes Entries

6:10 p.m. – Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing

Much of the attention will be on Cyberknife and Taiba, the 1-2 finishers in the Haskell Stakes last out, but contention runs much deeper than that in this terrific renewal of the Pennsylvania Derby. Zandon has never been worse than third in seven starts, and was only beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Rich Strike when third in the Kentucky Derby. He was nosed out by Cyberknife for second behind Epicenter in the Travers last out after losing another battle to Epicenter in his previous start in the G2 Jim Dandy. Skippylongstocking captured the G3 West Virginia Derby last out after finishing third in the Belmont Stakes in June and will likely be on or close to the lead in here. The expected front-runner, as he was in the West Virginia Derby, will be We the People, who gets Flavien Prat in the saddle for this race.

Pennsylvania Derby Entries


9:14 p.m. – Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park

With Cyberknife a leading contender for the G1 Pennsylvania Derby, Brad Cox sends Best Actor – 5 3/4-length winner of the G3 Smarty Jones Stakes last out at Parx Racing – to Remington Park in search of the trainer's fourth consecutive victory in the G3 Oklahoma Derby. He'll have Ken McPeek-trained Rattle N Roll – winner of the G1 Breeders' Futurity in 2021 – to beat. Other contenders include Steve Asmussen-trained King Ottoman and a pair of Robertino Diodoro runners, Red Knobs (Manitoba Derby winner) and Great Escape (G3 Canadian Derby winner).

Oklahoma Derby Entries

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