Doc Penny Off the Turf, Divine Miss Grey Romps

Media Contact:
Keith Jones

For Immediate Release: Saturday, September 8, 2018


The Saturday feature at Parx was the Grade 3 $200,000 Dr. James Penny Memorial Stakes and for some reason, Mother Nature decided to wreak havoc with the event not once, but twice. A one mile and one-sixteenth grass race for fillies and mares, the race had been originally been scheduled for July 3rd, but that racing day got cancelled by extreme heat. Rescheduled for today, with almost three inches of rain overnight it just was not possible to keep the race on the turf so the race instead was moved to the main track and what was left was a field of just three racing over saturated dirt.

On paper, the race was all about Divine Miss Grey. Racing for Corms Racing Stable and R.A. Hill Stable, the 4 year-old Divine Park filly seemed to have a class edge as well as a tactical advantage and the final odds reflected that, she was 1-9 at post time. A confirmed front runner against two off-the-pace types, jockey Junior Alvarado wasted no time. Within a couple strides after the break, Divine Miss Grey had the lead while the other two were in the unenviable position of playing catch up. Knowing the scenario, Daniel Centeno tried to keep his mount, Care Lady, within reasonable range of Divine Miss Grey. Care Lady made her U.S. debut in an allowance race at Saratoga in early August after arriving as a multiple Group 1 winner in Argentina. The waters here, however, are obviously much deeper.

Only a length and a half behind Divine Miss Grey to the backstretch, Care Lady vied back and forth for second in pursuit of the leader with the race long shot, Truth in the Lies (15-1) and Centeno decided to take his shot early. After running on an unchallenged lead through fractions of 23.81 and 47.51, Divine Miss Grey got her first and only “challenge” on her inside just past the half mile pole. Centeno roused Care Lady to go up and engage, moving within a half-length for what proved to be a very short time. Comfortable and confident, Alvarado barely nudged Divine Miss Grey to quicken and she immediately responded. Cruising past the three-eighths pole she opened up by a length and a half, at the quarter pole the lead was almost four and by the time she hit the last furlong she’d rolled away effortlessly to a six length lead. Geared down for most of the last eighth of a mile, she bounded under the wire as much the best.

Already a multiple stakes winner, Divine Miss Grey won the first graded race of her career and notched her 10th win from only 20 lifetime starts. Trained by Danny Gargan, she paid a very modest $2.20 to win. Maybe trying too hard to beat the heavy favorite, Care Lady would lose the runner up spot late to Truth in the Lies. The final time over the sloppy track was 1:43.49.