All of the attention was on PARX this weekend for the running of the Pennsylvania Derby and the Cotillion Stakes and both grade one races made headlines with their surprising outcomes. Here's your weekend stakes update!
Alphabet Soup Handicap
Shipping in from Woodbine, PUMPKIN RUMBLE came into the Alphabet Soup Handicap as the 6-5 favorite. SMOOTH B and PAPAL LAW set a fast pace with fractions of :22.1 and :45.2. On the far outside SARATOGA JACK came off the turn to take lead, butPUMPKIN RUMBLE closed in on the inside with a late surge to pass SARATOGA JACK at the wire with TAXABLE GOODS finishing third. The final time for the 1 1/16 miles turf race was 1:40.21, setting a new record.
Plum Pretty Stakes
It was a field of eight for the Plum Pretty Stakes with TROLLEY RIDE taking a bit of a stumble at the start. DIVA DRAMA went to the front, followed by TRACE OF GRACE pressing. TROLLEY RIDE set at the back of the pack. The first half and quarter were slower at :25.1 and :50.2. TRACE OF GRACE took over the lead at the turn and down the stretch. However, TROLLEY RIDE on the inside made a huge to make second followed by MILL AND GLORIA. The final time was 1:47.54 for the 1 1/16 miles dirt race.
Turf Amazon Stakes
Back to the turf for a quick five furlongs in the Turf Amazon Stakes for 3-year-old and up fillies and mares. WILDCAT COMBAT and STETSON GOLD battled to be the pacesetters. STETSON GOLD moved to the lead by two lengths with WILDCAT COMBAT and ROCKY POLICY following. STETSON GOLD moved to three lengths ahead, but ROCKY POLICY made a huge run on the outside to snatch the win by three-quarters of a length at the wire. Opening fractions were :22.1 and :44.4 with a final time of :56.62.
PARX Dirt Mile Stakes
Breaking together COAL FRONT and DIAMOND KING moved together on the outside with COAL FRONT settling in the lead, followed by DIAMOND KING and GRASSHOPPIN. COAL FRONT held a short lead at the turn but DIAMOND KING pressed on the inside. GOLDEN BROWN ran hard to get in the game, but it was a battle between COAL FRONT and DIAMOND KING to the wire. FOREWARNED made a late bid to get to the front, but could only secure a third-place finish. The final time was 1:37.53.
Gallant Bob Stakes
STRONG WILL and LANDESKOG went to the lead with KING JACK following in third. At the turn, LANDESKOG overcame STRONG WILL with KING JACK moving to the outside. KING JACK made a bid and overcame with a 16th to go and drew out to win at a length and a half over LANDESKOG in second. TROPHY CHASER made up ground to finish third, but was still twelve lengths behind. The final time was 1:08.89
KING JACK has gone from maiden to black-type winner in just three months for trainer Michael Stinson. BETHLEHEM ROAD and GET HAMMERED both had gate accidents and were scratched prior to the start.
SERENGETI EMPRESS and JAYWALK went to the lead. BELLAFINA had a good early position on the inside. SERENGETI EMPRESS set a very fast quarter of :22.3 but JAYWALK moved to the lead. GUARANA set fourth on the outside. BELLAFINA and JAYWALK battled at the turn, but BELLAFINA took the lead with 5/16ths to go. GUARANA moved to the lead at the top of the stretch. Out of nowhere STREET BAND came from far back to take the lead and moved away to win the Cotillion by just over two lengths. The final time was 1:44.1. GUARANA finished second followed by HOROLOGIST.
STREET BAND entered the race at 7-1 odds and was in 10th after the quarter-mile. She moved along the field picking them off one by one until she was in sixth at the six-furlong marker, catching GUARANA at the eighth pole before pulling clear. The race was her first grade one win and stamped her all-expense-paid trip to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup Distaff.
IMPROBABLE was jumping in the gates and had a bad start. MR. MONEY went to the lea with WAR OF WILL following on the outside. SPUN TO RUN was three-wide into the clubhouse turn. The quarter-mile went in :24.20 with MR. MONEY still leading, but a handful of a ride. The half-mile was very slow at :49.30. WAR OF WILL continued to track. SPUN TO RUN went three-wide. MATH WIZARD started making his move on the far outside. MR. MONEY was off the turn with the lead but MATH WIZARD rallying from last was on the far outside and surged ahead to be the 30-1 upset winner. It was the first time for Irad Ortiz to ride MATH WIZARD.
Just in January 2018, the colt was a $25,000 claimer at Gulfstream, a race that is already famous, as it was where MAXIMUM SECURITY broke his maiden by 10 3/4 lengths. Now, he's a grade one winner with a ticket to the Breeders' Cup Classic.