It’s time to go racing at Parx Casino as betParx presents the Pennslyvania Derby, the highlight of the 2022 season at Parx Racing in Bensalem. The meet, which is set to happen on September 24th, will feature two grade one races, the G1 Pennslyvania Derby and the G1 Cotillion Stakes, as well as eight other graded stakes races on the undercard before the PA Derby. For those who don’t know, the PA Derby and Cotillion Stakes are some of the last prep races before the Breeders Cup, the premier horse racing championship at Keenland in November. Here is your first glance at the 2022 Pennsylvania Derby.
Chad Browns G1 Blue Grass Stakes winner and Breeders Cup Qualifier Zandon enters as a probable for the PA Derby. Zandon most recently ran in the 2022 Travers Stakes, the highlight of the 2022 Saratoga Meet, at Saratoga Racecourse, finishing in third behind second place and PA Derby runner Cyberknife and first place Epicenter. A bettor will have to look out for how he’s a talented horse but has come in third and second in all his outings following his Blue Grass Win. Now that doesn’t rule him out here, as it is a field he has run better against before, but it’s something to keep in mind for this Chad Brown trainee. If Chad decides to have him run, it will serve as an excellent final prep race before he races in the Breeders Cup Classic at Keenland this November.
This years TVG.com Haskell Stakes winner Cyberknife looks to race one more time before he makes his way to Keenland to race in the Breeders Cup Classic. The Brad Cox trainee ran in the Travers Stakes most recently, finishing in second in front of PA Derby Runner Zandon, and looks to capture one more racing win before November. Cyberknife ran incredibly in the Travers Stakes, leading the pack for the first mile but could not keep pace with first-place Epicenter. Nevertheless, I consider the Brad Cox trainee for taking home the championship as he’s run strongly against many respectable horses this year and multiple in the field for the PA Derby.
Pennsylvania Derby Favorite Tabia
PA Derby favorite Tabia looks to take home a second win of the year after most recently falling short of Cyberknife in the 2022 Haskell Stakes. The G1 Run Happy Santa Anita Derby Winner hasn’t raced much this year as he’s only raced four times this year, which is something id take note of. However, Tabia has had great success this year, defeating arguably the best three-year-old Jack Christopher in the Travers Stakes but he will need to have a good run as the field behind him is not easy. Regardless, the Bob Baffert horse should run great in the Derby.
One of the outliers and longshots in the PA Derby is Icy Strom. The Felix Flores-Coba trainee sits second in the program at 30-1 and is the longest of long shots in this race. The PA Derby will be his first start in a Stakes race which doesn’t sit well with me when you look at the loaded field behind him. In his last workout, he did four furlongs in 50.52, which isnt bad, but it isnt something that should draw you to this horse to bet on. So, if you want to have fun throw a dollar or two down on Icy Storm, but other than that, I’d stay away from wagering on this colt.
Doug O’Neill’s B Dawk looks to capture his first stakes win and first graded stakes win this year in the PA Derby. B Dawk most recently raced in a small allowance race in Ellis Park in Kentucky, winning it easily. However, it’s hard to consider him a contender as he hasn’t run against any real significant competitors this year, unlike some of his opponents in the PA Derby. Like Icy Strom, if you want to throw down a dollar or two on this horse hoping to make big bucks go for it, but I wouldn’t bet on him if you want to win.
G3 West Virginia Derby Winner Skippylongstocking looks to continue his winning streak with his third win of the season. Skippylongstocking most recently ran in the G3 WV Derby at Mountaineer Casino, winning it over PA Derby runners We the People and Simplification. The first of two Saffie Joseph Jr trainees have had a good season this year with multiple third-place finishes in major stakes races, including the 154th running of the Belmont Stakes. However, with that being said, Skippy will have to run as he did in the Belmont Stakes and Wood Memorial if he wants to win the PA Derby. However, for the price he’s at now, that being 10-1, Id place a bet on Skippylongstocking winning the PA Derby.
We the People
Peter Pan Stakes winner We the People looks to capture his first win since May in the PA Derby. The Rodolphe Brisset trainee most recently ran in the West Virginia Derby, where he could not pass WV Derby Winner and PA Derby Runner Skippylongstocking. However, We The People is not one to shy away from in the Pa derby as he has made significant speed figures and ran well in recent races. His win in the G3 Peter Pan Stakes over Golden Glider and Western River makes me believe that if he can run as he did back at Belmont park, he has a solid opportunity to win the Pa Derby.
Brad Cox’s Tawny Port looks to make his first run following the G3 Jim Dandy stakes, where he finished in third over Preakness Stakes winner Early Voting. The G3 Ohio Derby Winner has had a strong start this year but will have to find his way around this loaded field as multiple horses possibly stand in his way. If Tawny Port can run better than Zandon, who he lost to in the Jim Dandy, Zandon finishing in second and Tawny Port in third, he has a high chance of taking a thrilling upset as he sits in the program at 6-1. However, The Jeff Ruby Steaks winner will have to run quicker than Tabia and Cyberknife, which is challenging.
Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes winner Simplification looks to take his first G1 stakes win of the year and has no better place to prove himself than at Parx Casino. The Antonio Sano trainee has had a good season finishing third in the Florida Derby and Fourth in the Kentucky Derby but has struggled to get a win in his last four outings following his G2 victory at Gulfstream Park.
Simplification most recently ran in the West Virginia Derby and could not keep up with Skippylongstocking and We the People. Before the West Virginia Derby, he finished 6th in the Preakness Stakes. But, this will be a great race to prove if he has what it takes for one more this year or if the year is over for him. With the field not being the easiest as multiple major stakes winners races alongside, if he can manage to win, it will give trainer Antonio Sano more hope in this three-year-old.
Joe Sharp’s Naval Aviator makes his debut in stakes racing at Parx racing in the PA Derby. The three-year-old colt started his season at Keenland park this spring, finishing in 7th in his first start and then 11th in his second start. But the Joe Sharp Trainee turned his season around this summer, capturing two wins at Churchill downs. So now Naval Aviator is making his first stakes start, which is why I shy away from betting on him, but Id throw him into a superfecta bid.
The second Saffie Joseph Jr trainee and final entry in the PA Derby, White Abarrio, look to rematch Haskell winner Cyberknife in the PA Derby. The Florida Derby winner looks to take his second graded stakes to win. The Saffie Joseph Jr Trainee has had a great season but recently struggled in the TVG.Com Haskell Stakes, where he finished in 7th. First, however, I’d like to look honestly at his win in the Curlin Florida Derby, where he won by a length over Charge It. I consider White Abarrio as he’s got a lot of potential in this field, and he is a strong bet for the program price at 8-1.
Pennsylvania Derby Final Thoughts
So there’s a look at the field for the 2022 PA Derby. My final bets are as follows down below. (Note: My longshot is Skippylongstocking WPS)
Trifecta- 1 5 8 (Box)
Superfecta 1 5 8 4 (Box)
To watch all the action, head down to PARX Racing on September 24th for a massive day of racing and the first major stakes day for the fall season! Best of luck, and look for our previews for the G1 Cotillion and G2 Gallant Bob Stakes on the undercard of the PA Derby Day.
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