The Pennsylvania Derby

A lot of eyes will be on Parx on Saturday. It is their biggest racing day of the year, and the feature is The Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby. Eleven three-year olds will line up for the cool one-million-dollar purse.

They have a nice field assembled as they do for the Cotillion, the filly counterpart.

Zandon will break from the rail under new pilot Joel Rosario. Personally, I feel Joel is a perfect fit for this nice colt who shows up every time he heads to the gate. I think he will bring his A game and his late run, perhaps from further back then he has of late, but I think there might be someone in here better than him on Saturday. That said he is dangerous and the one to beat in my book.

Icy Storm looks a bit cheap for these and appears in way over his head. He would be a shocker.

B Dawk is on the upswing but this good at this point, I doubt it. He should be part of the pace but when the real running begins, I think he will fold his cards.

Skippylongstocking looks a cut below the better ones in here. He can get a piece, but I don’t believe he can win this. Saffie Joseph has done well here before, Math Wizard comes to mind, but I can’t back Skippy for the win.

Cyberknife is a nice horse and has really developed and come to hand. He was the beneficiary of a nice inside trip in The Haskell where I thought Taiba took the worst of it. He solidified that with a solid second in The Travers while on the lead. He won’t be on the lead Saturday and will be back to a more suitable stalking style, at least for him. He is good, but I like others better.

We the People is reunited with Prat and likely sets the pace. I think he will get pressure, and still has to prove to me his wet track run away win in The Peter Pan was not a fluke or track aided victory. I believe it was.

Tawny Port is good, but a cut below the best in here. He would need some help and a perfect storm to win.

Taiba looks like the horse to me. He should be sitting on his best race to date, and we will find out if he is the goods a lot of people believe he is. He likes it outside and is well drawn. With a different trip or ride I think he would have won The Haskell and he should be better now than he was then.

Simplification is another who is good, just not as good as a few in here. He can throw a big race when he brings his A game, so I would not talk anyone off him. He should go forward second off the lay-off.

Naval Aviator has improved but will have to improve again to contend here.

White Abarrio was done no favors by the draw. Saez will get all he has out of him, but I don’t think that will be enough to win.

I’ll take Taiba to win, and an ice-cold exacta with Zandon second. That is all she wrote in here for me.

Enjoy the races!

 

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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