There will be $1 million in purse money for Pennsylvania-bred Thoroughbreds at Pennsylvania’s Day at the Races later this month.

Scheduled for Aug. 21 at Parx Racing outside of Philadelphia, the annual event has attracted a strong field of entries — many returning to Pennsylvania after competing across the country — that highlight the strength of the state’s breeding program.

Veteran campaigner Smooth B, trained by Butch Reid, is nominated both to the Marshall Jenney Stakes at five furlongs on the turf and the Banjo Picker Stakes, which is run on the dirt at six furlongs. Reid also cross-nominated Beren, who was second in the Banjo Picker last year. Beren leads all nominations with over $867,000 in lifetime earnings.

The Storm Cat Stakes will feature the accomplished Nimitz Class, a Bruce Kravets trainee who had four straight stakes wins in Maryland against open competition and then ran second in the Grade 3 Salvatore Mile at Monmouth Park in June. The defending champion from last year’s race, Too Boss, returns. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Too Boss signaled he is ready to run after winning a tough allowance last month after a long layoff. Maybe the most interesting nomination was by trainer Guadalupe Preciado with Buy Land and See. He is turf specialist and has six wins on that surface compared to only one on dirt. Buy Land and See has earned over $500,000 and has never lost at Parx.

Witty, half-brother to Pennsylvania-bred superstar and Breeders Cup champion Caravel, will likely run against Smooth B in the Marshall Jenny, after he ran second in the Wolf Hill Stakes at Monmouth Park late last month. Witty has run mainly on the dirt, but his only poor result on the turf was in the Grade 2 Penn Mile on a very soft surface.

While Beren will likely be the favorite in the Banjo Picker, Gordian Knot, nominated by Preciado, should be considered a contender. The 3-year-old gelding has won five of seven lifetime starts and earned nearly $350K. Mac Daddy Too is nominated as well, despite not yet racing in Pennsylvania. He has been facing open company in California, Arkansas and Kentucky for trainer Norm Casse.

There are two races for fillies and mares: the Mrs. Penny is at a mile and one-sixteenth on the turf, and the Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial at six furlongs on the dirt. Flor de Sombra, from Preciado’s barn, is nominated for both races but would most likely go on in the Garofalo.

In a Spin, trained by Reading, Pennsylvania native Michael Matz, leads the Mrs. Penny field with five wins on the turf, including a recent win at Delaware Park.

The day will also feature the second running of The Miss Blue Tye Dye and Whistle Pig Stakes for 2-year-olds that are not only PA-breds but are also PA-sired. These two races are the first races in a six-race series restricted to PA-Sired, PA-Breds.

The Miss Blue Tye Dye Stakes is for fillies at five and one-half furlongs. Last year’s inaugural edition was won by Flor de Sombra, who has proved her quality going forward. Aoife’s Magic has been nominated by trainer David Dotolo and is unraced like many of the nominees, but has logged several fast workouts in the mornings, including four furlongs in :47 flat on July 8 at Parx, the fastest of 46 horses that day. She is sired by one of the all-time great PA-breds, Smarty Jones. John Servis, the trainer of Smarty Jones, has nominated Jody’s Ruby for the race as well.

The Whistle Pig is the same distance but is open to any gender 2-year-old with the same PA-bred and PA-sired restrictions. Trainer Rusty Albright has nominated a trio bred by Dr. William Solomon with Lord on Hygh likely to be a top contender along with the Servis trainee I Can Do Magic. The colt is sired by the popular Uptowncharlybrown and Servis hopes he is ready after some time off for a shin issue.

First post is scheduled for 12:40 p.m. There is no charge for admission, and it is open to all ages.

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Cover Photo Credit to cmannphoto

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