Submitted by Jerry Antonucci on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Pennsylvania Derby: Will Take Charge to start from outside
The rematch is set.
Will Take Charge and Moreno, separated by a nose in last month’s $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga, head a field of eight entered Monday for Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing.
Will Take Charge, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, drew the outside post, while Moreno, trained by Eric Guillot, will leave from post 3.
The race carries the added intrigue of charges leveled by the connections of Moreno that Luis Saez, jockey of Will Take Charge, used an electrical device, commonly referred to as a battery, on Will Take Charge in the Travers. The New York State Gaming Commission is investigating the accusations and has enlisted the help of the New York State Police due to their expertise in video analysis. It is unclear when the Gaming Commission will announce the results of the investigation.
After taking 10 tries to win a maiden race, Moreno came back to win the Grade 2 Dwyer before running third in the Jim Dandy and second in the Travers.
On Sunday, Moreno put in his only work between the Travers and Pennsylvania Derby, drilling five furlongs in 59.82 seconds over the Belmont main track.
“He’s getting a little more aggressive to be around; really, really strong,” said John Daley, assistant to Guillot. “He keeps putting on weight. Every time I think he looks great, a week later I think he looks even better.”
Will Take Charge worked five furlongs in 1:00.89 on Sept. 13 at Saratoga and is expected to ship to Parx on Thursday.
The remainder of the field includes Blue Grass Stakes winner Java’s War; Fury Kapcori, runner-up in the El Cajon Stakes; Romansh and Transparent, the fourth and last-place finishers, respectively, in the Travers; and Speak Logistics and Battier, second and fourth, respectively, in the Smarty Jones at Parx on Sept. 2.
Close Hatches tops 10-horse Cotillion
Close Hatches, unraced since winning the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont in June, and Sweet Lulu, undefeated winner of the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga in August, top a field of 10 entered in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
Close Hatches missed the Coaching Club American Oaks due to a temperature, and missing that race also precluded her from making the Alabama at 1 1/4 miles.
She has been training steadily at Belmont Park and on Sunday worked a strong half-mile in 46.90 over the main track.
Close Hatches will break from post 9 and be ridden by Mike Smith.
Sweet Lulu, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, will break from post 7 under Julien Leparoux. Despite both being Grade 1 winners, Close Hatches carries top weight of 124 pounds, while Sweet Lulu carries 117.
Seaneen Girl, the Monmouth Oaks winner; My Happy Face, beaten a neck in the Test; and Dancing Afleet, the Delaware Oaks winner; are among the top contenders. Carnival Court, Asiya, Flash Forward, and Promise Me More, complete the field.
Full field in Gallant Bob
Trainer Ben Perkins Jr. sprung a 15-1 upset in last year’s Gallant Bob Stakes with Well Spelled. Saturday, the odds figure to be a bit shorter when Perkins sends out Rainbow Heir against 13 rivals in the six-furlong dash for 3-year-olds.
Rainbow Heir, a son of Wildcat Heir, won his first four starts, including the Grade 3 Jersey Shore. He suffered his first loss when sixth in the Grade 2 Amsterdam at Saratoga. Rainbow Heir drew post 11 and will be ridden by Smith.
Clearly Now, winner of the Grade 3 Swale Stakes, drew post 12 and will be ridden by Luis Saez. Distinctiv Passion, a sprint stakes winner on turf and dirt in Southern California, and Zeewat, a two-turn stakes winner who comes off a sprint allowance win at Golden Gate, top the list of challengers.