Perfection rarely happens in life or on the race track. Perfect happened last Saturday in Parx on Pennsylvania Derby Day.

It was a gloriously bright day with 13 races lasting 6 1/2 hours. Total handle ($ 13,799,491) broke the old record set in 2014 by 30 percent. The results were formidable and wild, with 1-20 shots and 108-1 shots in the winner’s circle.

Some of the biggest names in the sport won all three major races, but Parx’s jockeys and coaches were serious players in four of the other five bets.

The top two performances were 9-10 Hot Rod Charlie at the Pennsylvania Derby and 1-20 Jackie’s Warrior at the Gallant Bob. Each will head to DelMar for the Breeders’ Cup Classic and BC Sprint respectively.

Hot Rod Charlie arrived a week before the Derby. Set up alongside his constant companion Lava Man (claimed for $ 50,000, earned $ 5 million) at Scott Lake’s Barn 2, HRC had been great and unlucky at the same time during a campaign that began in January. The colt had never run a bad race, but circumstances and the disqualification of the first at Haskell had prevented him from winning Grade I.

After leading all the way under Flavien Prat and winning the Pa. Derby by a decisive 2 1/4 lengths, Hot Rod Charlie finally earned his Grade I victory for his eclectic group owner and coach Doug O’Neill. His career-best Beyer speed figure of 111 makes him one of the top contenders for the Classic.

“Charlie is a rock star,” O’Neill said. “I’m just a roadie, but I’m a motivated roadie, that’s for sure.”

With good reason.

“When you have speed, stamina and class, you can do crazy and cool things,” O’Neill said. “He showed today that he has some special qualities that, if he stays injury free, could lead to great things in November. He believes that he can be a great force in the Breeders’ Cup. ”

The colt cornered badly on the stretch and got close to Midnight Bourbon, who had been chasing him the entire way. There was a question and objection from Ricardo Santana, who rode Midnight Bourbon. But there was no change. He shouldn’t have done it either. Midnight Bourbon had to get through the entire stage and was losing ground at the finish.

Despite how good Hot Rod Charlie was and really good, Jackie’s Warrior was perhaps even more dazzling with a huge win at the Gallant Bob. Now 8-for-9 with a neck loss in one-lap races, the Maclean’s Music son never gave four leading foes a chance, opening on the back straight and being guided down the straight by Joel Rosario as coach. Steve Asmussen. The margin was 6 3/4 lengths, but it could have been anything. Jackie’s Warrior got a 110 Beyer.

“It’s very exciting to watch,” Asmussen said. “What a special horse he has been. He has run a few races and we obviously hope it will be the ideal preparation for the Breeders ’Cup Sprint.”

The deadly Asmussen-Santana combination were the deserved winners at the Cotillion with the ultra consistent Clairiere. In his eighth consecutive position, Clairiere is now 9 out of 9 in the top four and, like Hot Rod Charlie, he scored his big Grade I win when he came out of the furthest corner and edged out the leaders down the stretch. . to win by 2 1/2 lengths as the 5-2 favorite.

Clairiere wasn’t the best horse on the card, but he was definitely the best maiden. Curlin, a seven-time Grade I winner, two-time Horse of the Year and a $ 10 million winner at Cavorting (three Grade I wins and three more Grade II wins), has always raced as an official Grade I winner.

The Parx-based horses ran 1-3 at Turf Monster and Greenwood Cup, the other ranked bets on the card. The Parx horses won the two bets raised by Pennsylvania that started and ended the streak of eight consecutive bets. And the Parx Dirt Mile had the wildest end of the day.

When he was 8 years old, Hollywood Talent ranked third in the 2019 Turf Monster behind newly created Hall of Famer Parx Pure Sensation. Trainer Juan Vázquez, who apparently headed in the wrong direction when he participated in an $ 8,000 recovery race last November, decided to claim the horse.

Winless in six starts since then and seemingly far from his best form, Hollywood Talent was 108-1 at the Turf Monster. But the now 10-year-old, always in a good spot below Santana, running on softer ground that he clearly loved, flew all the way to win by 1 1/4 lengths,

It was Vázquez who gave Panamanian Santana his American start in 2012 at Delaware Park and the wonderful jockey repaid Vázquez with a victory that

Original source credited to: Let’s Go Racing Parx

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