Thursday, September 17, 2015

Arkansas Derby Runners Top Pennsylvania Derby Field

Madefromlucky and Mr. Z, veterans of Oaklawn’s 2015 3-year-old series, are among 10 horses entered in Saturday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G2) at Parx. Probable post time for the 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby, won in 2013 by champion Will Take Charge, is 4:45 p.m. (Central).

Will Take Charge won Oaklawn’s Smarty Jones Stakes and Rebel Stakes (G2) en route to an Eclipse Award as the country’s top 3-year-old male of 2013. Madefromlucky ran second in the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) and fourth in the Arkansas Derby (G1) for trainer Todd Pletcher. Mr. Z ran third in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) and $1 million Arkansas Derby.

Although unsuccessful in Triple Crown events, both horses found the winner’s circle once they no longer had to face Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Madefromlucky won the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (G2) May 9 at Belmont Park and the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (G2) Aug. 1 at Mountaineer. Mr. Z won the $500,000 Ohio Derby June 20 at ThistleDown.

Madefromlucky, who hasn’t started since the West Virginia Derby, is the 4-1 second choice in the program. The son of champion Lookin At Lucky, winner of the 2010 Rebel, is scheduled to break from post 5 under John Velazquez. Mr. Z (10-1) is scheduled to break from post 10 under Luis Saez. Mr. Z is trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, who also conditioned Will Take Charge.

Completing the Pennsylvania Derby field from the rail out are War Story, Island Town, Frosted, Iron Fist, Gimme Da Lute, Tommy Macho, Battle Midway and Upstart.

Frosted, runner-up to American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes, is the 5-2 program favorite.

Ladies, First

The Pennsylvania Derby isn’t the only seven-figure race Saturday at Parx. The $1 million Cotillion (G1) for 3-year-old fillies has drawn a field of 12, including three horses with Oaklawn ties.

Champion Take Charge Brandi, winner of the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes Jan. 31 at Oaklawn, is scheduled to break from post 5 under Luis Saez. Take Charge Brandi (5-1 on the morning line) will be making just her second start since the Martha Washington because of a non-displaced bone chip in her right knee.

She finished last of 10 in her comeback race, the $500,000 Test Stakes (G1) at 7 furlongs Aug. 8 at Saratoga. She will be returning to two turns in the 1 1/16-mile Cotillion.

Pangburn (12-1) is scheduled to break from post 6 under three-time Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. Pangburn won an entry-level allowance race Feb. 20 at Oaklawn before running third in the track’s $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 7 and fourth in the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 4.

Embellish the Lace, who trained at Oaklawn early in the meeting, is scheduled to break from post 3 under Javier Castellano. Embellish the Lace (4-1) is coming off a front-running 1 ¼-length victory in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (G1) Aug. 22 at Saratoga.

Also entered in the Cotillion are Tara’s Tango, Keen Pauline, Desert Valley, Stroke Play, Peace and War, I’m a Chatterbox, Calamity Kate, Eskenformoney and Don’tforgetaboutme.

Probable post time for the Cotillion is 3:50 p.m. (Central).
 
On the Road Again

Sarah Sis, one of the top 3-year-old fillies at this year’s Oaklawn meet, drew the rail for Saturday’s $350,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3) at Charles Town.

Sarah Sis, who won Oaklawn’s $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 7, has been based this spring and summer at Arlington Park in suburban Chicago with trainer Ingrid Mason.

Sarah Sis shipped to Iowa to win the $75,000 Panthers Stakes May 30 at Prairie Meadows, then returned to win the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) June 27. In her last start, Sarah Sis finished fourth against older horses in the $500,000 Ballerina Stakes (G1) Aug. 29 at Saratoga in upstate New York.

Probable post time for the 7-furlong Charles Town Oaks is 9:25 p.m. (Central).
 
Hi, Bob

Hebbronville and Bayerd, who both wintered at Oaklawn, are scheduled to meet for the fifth time this year in the $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old sprinters Saturday at Parx. In their last meeting, Hebbronville beat Bayerd by a nose in a $100,000 allowance race Aug. 30 at Parx.

They also faced each other three times at Oaklawn. Bayerd and Hebbronville finished second and sixth, respectively, in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 19. Bayerd then finished second in the $100,000 Gazebo Stakes March 21 and fourth in the $100,000 Bachelor Stakes April 10. Hebbronville ran third in both races.

Hebbronville hasn’t lost since the Bachelor, taking a second-level allowance/optional claimer July 3 at Ellis Park and the $100,000 Jersey Shore Stakes (G3) July 25 at Monmouth before edging Bayerd last month.

Hebbronville (5-1 on the morning line) is scheduled to break from post 6 under Joe Bravo. Bayerd (6-1) is scheduled to break from the extreme outside, post 8, under three-time Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr.

Probable post time for the 6-furlong Gallant Bob is 3:05 p.m. (Central).
 
Finish Lines

Grade 2 winner I Spent It, a 3-year-old son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver co-owned by Alex and JoAnn Lieblong of Conway, Ark., is scheduled to make his comeback in an allowance/optional claiming sprint Saturday at Parx. I Spent It hasn’t started since finishing sixth in the $100,000 Bachelor Stakes April 10 at Oaklawn because of bone remodeling in his lower right front leg, Alex Lieblong said. I Spent It wintered at Oaklawn, and in his first start following knee surgery, was last of six in a March 18 mile allowance race after being made a late Triple Crown nominee. I Spent It, the first winner at stud for Super Saver, won the $200,000 Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) last year. Also entered in the 6 ½-furlong race is Beach Hut, who won a March 15 claiming race for Oaklawn training champion Chris Hartman. The trainer lost Beach Hut through a $16,000 claim May 28 at Churchill Downs. … Oaklawn maiden winner Chide and Kathballu, third in a March 14 allowance/optional claimer in Hot Springs, are entered in the $100,000 Dogwood Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Churchill Downs. … Uncle Brennie, winner of Saturday’s $75,000 Sunday Silence Stakes at Louisiana Downs, will point for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) Oct. 30 at Keeneland, according to owner Staton Flurry of Hot Springs. Uncle Brennie, who is from the first crop of champion Uncle Mo, has made all three career starts on grass, winning his last two. Flurry said he would love to try Uncle Brennie on dirt following the Breeders’ Cup and run at Oaklawn, where he won 2 of 9 starts at this year’s meeting. Brad Cox trains Uncle Brennie. Flurry also has horses with Karl Broberg. … Flurry said Patchofbadweather, his 3-year-old Arkansas-bred filly, was entered in an allowance race this week at Remington Park, but it didn’t go. Patchofbadweather (shin injury) hasn’t started since winning the now-defunct $50,000 Lady Razorback Futurity Nov. 8 at Remington Park. Flurry said hopes to get one or two races into Patchofbadweather in advance of the 2016 Oaklawn meeting.