Parx stakes races analysis, selections 9/20/2014

Here’s how I see the 4 big stakes races at Parx:
The ungraded Alphabet Soup Stakes is for PA-bred 3YOs, going 8.5 furlongs on the Parx turf, 100k.

2 TRAFFIC LIGHT won the Roanoke last time out on this track along with another stakes race at similar class 1.5 years ago. His 101 Brisnet in the Roanoke was well past his 88 in another stakes race at Saratoga. The Roanoke trip was the cleanest of all horses coming in, giving extra weight here for the sprinter wiring the field for the 8.5 furlong distance.  Morning-line: 6-1. My odds: 12-1.  Dark horse.
3 LIGHTNING ELECTRIC won the Smarty Jones at Penn in 2013. Outside of the fact that this 7YO has won before from a middle post, he lacks evidence to win today. ML: 10/1. Me: 24-1.  Avoid.
4 PAGE MCKENNEY won the Robellino for state-bred horses at Penn National last month.Scored best speed figure at Parx of today’s field, with a lifetime best 99. Has best jockey/trainer available, with Frankie Pennington at 24% wins, an Mary Eppler with 30%.  ML: 7/2. Me: 3-1. Contender.
5 EDGE OF REALITY won a stakes event at 75k 3 races back, and another race named for Smarty Jones in 2013 right here. Scores from last 3 races are 81, 95, 88, all in ungraded stakes company. I have to believe he’ll bounce back here but unsure.  ML: 5-1. Me: 24-1. Avoid.
6 ROADHOG won a stakes event at Laurel last year, as well as being the defending champ of this race in 2013. Nice record of 24-8-5-3 lifetime on turf, with top lifetime speed of 104 for this 7YO, tho that score came years ago. Seems to be favored running from an inside post. ML: 3/1. Me: 8-1.
Outside contender, maybe at a price.
7: SS SKITTLES had no reported rider as of this typing.  Forged lifetime best 97 3 races back. ML: 20-1. Me: Ditto. Avoid.
8 EL CAPITAN had run amongst top horses in Mexico for all 6 lifetime races before making his US debut at Parx last month. Best average winning distance from his pedigree (Elusive Quality-Isadora, by the mighty Sadler’s Wells). Won the Mexican Derby and the Gran Premio Nacional, both at Grade 1 level. 2 works since his US debut, one pretty fast.  ML odds: 20-1. Me: 5-1. Contender, overlay.
9 DANCING LOUNGE Despite him being the lone deep closer, I can’t take seriously at all, tho he has won from an outside post before.  ML: 12/1. Me: 24-1. Avoid

10 ATLANTIC SEABOARD as a sprinter is the true speed of the field, and returns to turf routes, after 3 sprints. Also has won from an outer post before. ML odds: 8-1. Me: 6-1. Contender at a price.
11: STARRY MOON surged from a 77 to an 89 in 2 ungraded races at the 75k level….so a bounce is possible. Or not.  ML: 10/1. Me: 20-1. Best to avoid.
Top 4:
4 Page McKenney
8 El Capitan
10 Atlantic Seaboard
6 Roadhog.
Overlay: 8
Decently competitive race.

Next is the Gallant Bob Stakes, Grade 3, 3YOs going 6 furlongs.

1 FAVORITE TALE won the Gold Fever, ungraded, at Belmont this spring.  3-for-3 lifetime at Parx with top winning speed of 101 in March. Also 1st or 2nd in 4 lifetime at 6 furlongs. Track bias in his favor: Sprinters going 6 furlongs are winning 38% during the meet, and rail horses are 18%.  ML: 5/2. Me: 20-1. Avoid.
2 CAMDEN STREET has the AWD edge (Elusive Quality/Empress Of India, by Dancing Brave). On the bench since May, has won right off layoff previously, plus won his maiden debut.  Has a lot of works during the layoff here at Parx.  ML: 12-1. Me: 5-1. Contender, overlay.
3 BUMP START progressed nicely in pace the last 2 starts, with paired-up Brisnet scores of 90 and 91, winning the Danzig at Penn in June as well. No other evidence to support.  ML odds: 20-1. My odds: 15-1. Dark horse, possible overlay.
4 PRUDHOE BAY won the Grade 3 Jersey Shore at Monmouth (where else?) last time out, plus 2 ungraded stakes in the past. 2 wins and a 3rd in 3 lifetime races at the distance, including a lifetime best 97 in the Jersey Shore. Great connections here, with Paco Lopez at 24% wins, and Ed Plesa Jr who is 1-for-3 in the meet. Pace progession is rather slow and positive, generally a good sign. Also had the best trip last out of this field win the Jersey Shore win, and should have no problem with a middle post.  ML: 6/1. Me: Better than 2/1.  Contender, favorite, overlay.
5 PURE SENSATION won the Quick Call at Saratoga. 8 of 9 lifetime in the $. This stalking horse is the speed of the field.  ML: 4-1. Me: 8-1.  Contender at a price.
6 FAST ANNA indeed relies on his sprinting ability. Almost always on or near the lead in 3 lifetime starts. 2nd in the Grade 1 KIng’s Bishop at Saratoga last time, surging to a 102 Brisnet. Big favorite by the ML at 8/5. I’m skeptical, thinking he’s 15-1. Dark horse.
Top 4:
4 Prudhoe Bay
2 Camden Street
5 Pure Sensation
3 Bump Start
Overlays: 2,3,4.
I have this as a one-horse race, with nice value alongsides.

The Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes is for 3YO fillies, 8.5 furlongs.

1 CASSATT won the Monmouth Oaks last time out. 3 wins and a 3rd lifetime. Has the AWD edge (Tapit/Justenufftime by Giant’s Causeway). Paired-up Brisnet scores of 92 and 93 last 2 races.  Inside posts will favor horses 1,2 and 3 for the distance, winning at 18%.  ML: 12/1. Me: 10-1.  Dark horse.
2 SWEET REASON won the Test, the Acorn and the Spinaway, each at Grade 1. 5 wins, 7 in the money lifetime. Last 3 wins straight off layoff. 4 works since the Test, all very fast, one a bullet.  ML: 4/1. I agree, at 5-1. Contender.
3 HOUSE RULES has yet to win a stakes race. in 3 races in the last 60 days, Javier Castellano has 2 wins and 3 placings with James Jerkens, for a 12.83 ROI. Progressed in pace to a lifetime best 95 last timeout, tho might bounce from that. ML: 20/1. My odds: 6-1. Contender, overlay.
4 JOINT RETURN won several ungraded stakes. FInished 2nd last time out in the Alabama with a lifetime best 95 Brisnet, but also one who could bounce. His deep closing trip in the Alabama is the best coming into this field.  ML: 8/1. My odds: 6-1. Contender
5 VERO AMORE has no stakes wins. 2 wins and a 3rd here at Parx, with a top score of 90 at this track, achieved in March.  Trainer Robert Reid Jr has 2 wins and 6 placings in Graded stakes this year, for a return of 6.41. Also he has saddled 23% at the Parx meet, with Frankie Pennington riding at a 24% clip.  ML: 20/1. My odds: 6-1. Not a contender but an overlay.
7 JOJO WARRIOR won the Torrey Pines and Summer Oaks on the West Coast her last 2 races, both at Graded level.  Set lifetime best Brisnet of 95 in the Summer Oaks, then trailed to 88 after.  I’m predicting a bounceback into the 90s here. ML: 6/1. My odds: 20-1. Avoid.
8 UNTAPABLE, the Kentucky Oaks winner, added a win in the Mother Goose to her resume , then was 5th in the Haskell Invitational. 4 wins and one 3rd in 6 races at the distance with top score of 107, achieved in the Fair Grounds Oaks. This stalking filly is the fastest of the field. Outside post may be her strong suit.  ML odds: 7/5. Me: 3/1. Contender, favorite.
Top 4:
8 Untapable
2 Sweet Reason
3 House Rules
4 Joint Return
Overlays: 3, 5 (Vero Amore)
Looks like a good betting race all around, top 4 all have reasonable chance.
FInally the Pennsylvania Derby, with top 3YOs going 9 furlongs.

1 CALIFORNIA CHROME we last saw finish a tough 4th attempting the Triple Crown, that after a 6 race win streak.  Part of the streak includes a dominating victory in the Santa Anita Derby, at today’s distance, with a 106 Brisnet. Layoff should not be a concern. I’ve rated him fastest of the field alongside Bayern.  ML odds: Even money. My odds: 2-1. Contender.
2 CANDY BOY won the RB Lewis in February at Santa Anita, has placed in most Graded stakes since but no wins. Lifetime best of 106 in the WV Derby surpassed prior best of 100 in prior race, also at Grade 2. Strong surge in Brisnet scores could predict a bounce her. Good series of works since the WV Derby, training on the West Coast. Inner post should be helpful.  ML: 10/1. My odds: 17-1. Dark horse.
3 PROTONICO with 1 win in 1 start here, winning the Smarty Jones earlier this month with a new top of 97. The 97 score is best of the track from this field. Best AWD numbers of the field (Giant’s Causeway/Alpha Spirit, by the great AP Indy). ML odds 8-1. My odds: 20-1. Avoid.
4 BAYERN won the Haskell, the Woody Stephens, the KY Derby Trial and the Arkansas Derby.  1 win and 1 3rd at the distance, with a 106 best score for distance in the Haskell.  Finished last of 10 in the Travers, bouncing down to an 80 Brisnet. Predicting a bounceback here. ML odds: 7/2. Me: 9-1.  Contender at a price.
6 CLASSIC GIACNROLL has the best Parx-based experience of the field. Kendrick Carmouche has 22% wins with Lisa Guerrero at 18%.  After layoff for much of the spring he posted a 92 in a stakes race at Delaware, an 88 in an optional claimer here, a 98 in the WV Derby, setting a new lifetime best, paired with a 96 In the Smarty Jones back here.  This deep closer appears to be in a good pace form cycle. Very good trip coming out of the Smarty Jones as well.  ML odds: 15/1. My odds: Better than 2/1. Favorite, contender, overlay.
8 CJs AWESOME makes his stakes debut after a series of maiden and allowance races. Surged to a lifetime best 100 in last race, with an excellent wire-to-wire victory for the sprinter going 9 furlongs. This 100 score came after an 89 in his first non-maiden effort. ML: 12/1. My odds: 17-1. Outside contender.
Top 4:
6 Classic Giacnroll

1 California Chrome
4 Bayern
2 Candy Boy.
Overlay: 6
Yes, picking the upset in what what I think will be a great 2 horse race.