On November 29, 2022, the best of this year’s Pennsylvania-bred 2-year-olds will compete in the rich Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes at Parx Racing in Bensalem, PA. The last major PA-bred stake of the year, the race draws talented juveniles to the annual race won in 2003 by fan favorite and Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones. This year’s 12 horse field includes several stakes winners and undefeated favorites. The race brings out- of- town trainers from Penn National and Fair Hill to Parx for a competitive race between PA-bred horses sired by Pa stallions and Pa-breds sired by out of state stallions.

The lucrative Pennsylvania-bred program offers races throughout the year that are restricted to registered Pa-bred horses, defined as thoroughbreds that were born in Pennsylvania and registered by the Jockey Club regardless of their sires’ locations. Pa-bred and Pa-sired horses are those born in Pennsylvania and sired by stallions standing and registered in the state, and their breeders receive extra bonuses. 

Horse: Gordian Knot, Jockey: M. Sanchez, Trainer: G. Preciado

The undefeated, multiple stakes winner and probable favorite, Gordian Knot, drew post position 7. Trained by Guadalupe Preciado and owned and bred by Joe Imbesi, the gelding won the first time out and continued his winning ways with a victory in the Prince Lucky Stakes at Parx, followed by another win on the synthetic surface at Presque Isle Downs in the Mark McDermott Stakes. A PA-bred and PA-sired horse, Gordian Knot’s sire, Social Inclusion recently relocated to Florida.


Horse: Ninetyprcentmaddie,, Jockey: F. Pennington, Trainer: R. Reid, Jr.

Another undefeated horse in the race, PA-bred, and PA-sired, Ninetyprcentmaddie, trained by “Butch” Reid, won his debut, and, second time out, won the Whistle Pig Stakes at Parx. He also won an allowance race on October 31 at Parx. Owned and bred by LC Racing LLC, the colt is by one of Pennsylvania’s top stallions, Weigelia, sire of a Parx favorite, Beren.


Horse: Keithsendshelloooo,
Jockey: A. Nunez,
Trainer: E. Coletti, Jr.

Another PA-bred and PA-sired challenger is the stakes-placed Keithsendshelloooo. By Uptowncharleybrown, the stakes-placed colt is trained by Eddie Coletti Jr. and owned and bred by Uptowncharlybrown Stud LLC. “He’s a good honest horse that tries every time. He’s tough and getting better, and I think the distance may help him. It’s a seven-furlong race, and I think he’ll like that,” commented Coletti.


Horse: All Eyes On You, Jockey: A. Adorno, Trainer: U. St. Lewis

Parx trainer Uriah St. Lewis entered his Street Sense colt, All Eyes On You in the Nursery. Bred by Pennsylvania’s top breeder, Blackstone Farm LLC, the horse won over $80,000. According to St. Lewis, “he’s improving every time he runs. Hopefully, he runs his race and wins. That’s all I can say.”


Other competitors, not to be overlooked, include Fair Hill resident Picture This, trained by Michael Matz. The well bred colt by Munnings won 2 races at Delaware Park, and the Nursery will be his first time competing in a restricted PA-bred race. Michael Matz gained prominence and fame as a racehorse trainer when he trained the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro, but in his previous career, he was an Olympic show jumping rider and silver medalist winner. His lifelong experience and knowledge of horses gives him a unique perspective when training race horses.


Horse: Respirator, Trainer: S. Lake

The rest of the field includes horses trained by Kate Demasi, Scott Lake, Todd Beattie, and includes the horses Respirator, Paynted Warrior, Strawberry Treat, Bejuco, Spendolini, Veeson, and Winning Time. This year’s Nursery is shaping up to be an exciting race that showcases Pennsylvania’s talented crop of 2-year-olds.



Photo Credit: Kim Pratt

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