For Immediate Release: Friday, September 13, 2013
TOP TURF RUNNERS AT PARX IN SATURDAY’S PRESIDENT’S CUP
Parx Racing will give out nearly $1 million in purses Saturday afternoon to say thanks to the many owners that compete with their horses at the local track as part of Owner’s Appreciation day. The twelve race program will feature the $250,000 PTHA President’s Cup, a one mile and one-eighth turf test for three year-olds and up. The President’s Cup is the track’s premier race for males running long on the grass. The 2013 edition has drawn a stellar field of twelve that looks wide open for the betting public.
The 5-2 morning line favorite is Morris Stable’s Change of Command. The six year-old gelded son of Gators N Bears has eight career wins on the grass, by far the most of any horse in the field. Already a three time winner this year, two starts back, he won the $75,000 Elkwood Stakes over the Monmouth course while he prepped for the G3 Oceanport where he ran fourth at 9-1 in his most recent start. Julian Pimentel is set to ride for trainer Mike Trombetta.
Coming down from Canada for trainer Brian Lynch is Robert Smithen’s Hampstead Heath, who will open as the second choice at 7-2. The four year-old gelded son of Pennsylvania Derby winner Macho Uno has been outstanding in his last two starts at Woodbine in a couple of high profile events. On July 21st, he ran second and was beaten by only three-quarters of a length in the G2 Nijinsky Stakes at 22-1 and then quickly backed up that performance with another second in the G2 Sky Classic at another square price of 7-1. He’s never been worse than third in any career race on the turf and is expected to be coming from off the pace with local jockey Stewart Elliott on board.
Maybe a bit overlooked in the morning line is the third choice, Swift Warrior. Racing for James Covello & James Dolan, the five year-old son of First Samurai is already a multiple graded winner this year. In January, he went to Sam Houston Park and won the G3 John B. Connelly and then three weeks later went to Tampa and won the G3 Tampa Bay Stakes. On July 22nd he nearly won the $300,000 G2 Colonial Turf Cup, getting caught late and finishing third beaten less than a length. He was a beaten favorite in his most recent start in the aforementioned G3 Oceanport, but seemed to have a legitimate excuse. While most of his success has come while racing on or near the pace, in the Oceanport, he got away last in the field of ten and was not a significant factor. Trainer John Terranova II has named Jose Ortiz to ride.
Other notables include Reflecting (5-1, Shug McGaughey), Unbroken (6-1, Steve Epley, Jr.) and General Logan (10-1, Graham Motion).