What started in the winter with Triple Crown aspirations comes to an end Saturday when the Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racingserves as the final top-level dirt stakes restricted to 3-year-olds.

Notable winners: Hot Rod Charlie (2021), McKinzie (2018), West Coast (2017), Frosted (2015), Bayern (2014), Will Take Charge (2013), Harlan’s Holiday (2002), Macho Uno (2001), Summer Squall (1990), Broad Brush (1986), Summing (1981).

First held: 1979

A field of 11 was entered and it figures to be a lively contest with a nice mix of speedsters and closers, all hoping to cash in with the glittering prize of a Grade 1 stakes win before having to face older opponents.

1. Modern Era (50-1 morning-line odds): He’s a maiden who has raced eight times with one second and a third. Running for $1 million? Pass.

JOCKEY: Patrick Henry Jr.; TRAINER: Uriah St. Lewis

2. Dreamlike (10-1): Ran in the Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by Resorts World Casino as a maiden and finished third, losing by a nose and a head. Breezed to a maiden win at Saratoga Race Course but then stumbled and failed to fire in a Spa allowance race. Draw a line through that one and he’s a key contender.

JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz Jr.; TRAINER: Todd Pletcher

3. Saudi Crown (7-2): Turned in a stellar effort in his first try around two turns, losing by a nose to Forte in the Jim Dandy Stakes Presented by DK Horse. Lightly raced colt looks like the one to catch and beat in this field.

JOCKEY: Florent Geroux; TRAINER: Brad Cox 

4. Magic Tap (5-1): Won that allowance race with Dreamlike. Has made steady improvement since being introduced to two turns. If he takes another step forward here, he can make his presence felt in a big way.

JOCKEY: Tyler Gaffalione; TRAINER: Steve Asmussen

5. Scotland (6-1): Set the early pace in the Travers Stakes then faded to sixth. Speedy gelding may not be able to lead throughout, but should play a key role in deciding how hot the pace turns out to be.

JOCKEY: Junior Alvarado; TRAINER: Bill Mott

6. Daydreaming Boy (12-1): Was third in the Smarty Jones Stakes here at Parx and has four wins in nine tries on the track. That helps his cause but no stakes wins in 11 career starts does not bode well for his chances in a Grade 1 stakes.

JOCKEY: Dexter Haddock; TRAINER: Louis Linder Jr.

7. West Coast Cowboy (12-1): Finished second in the West Virginia Derby but was seventh at 60.70-1 odds in his only start in a Grade 1 stakes. Would need major improvement to be a factor.

JOCKEY: Tyler Conner;  TRAINER: Saffie Joseph Jr.

8. Gilmore (10-1): Has been competitive in seven-furlong and one-turn mile stakes but faces a tough task extending to two turns here. Not a tossout, but others are more attractive.

JOCKEY: John Velazquez; TRAINER: Brendan Walsh

9. Crupi (15-1): Lost his first seven starts yet the connections tried him without success in both the Risen Star Stakes presented by Lamarque Lincoln and Lamarque Crescent City Ford and Wood Memorial Stakes. Comes off back-to-back maiden and allowance wins, but will tackle much better competition here.


Il Miracolo (Nikki Sherman/EQUI-PHOTO)

10. Il Miracolo (8-1): Won the Smarty Jones, which was his first stakes win in eight tries. That alone does not instill much confidence. But a win on this track is a big help in a race like this.


11. Reincarnate (3-1): The favorite seems to be developing nicely for Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. Comes off a solid victory in the Los Alamitos Derby and continued improvement will make him a force here. Overcoming the outside post is the big challenge for him.

JOCKEY: Juan Hernandez; TRAINER: Bob Baffert

THE PICK: Saudi Crown


SUPERFECTA: 3-11-2-10

Original Source Credited to americasbestracing.net

Cover Photo Credit: Nikki Sherman/EQUI-PHOTO

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