By Rick Francis —-
Gary and Mary West’s Travers champ West Coast looks to extend his winning streak to five when he faces nine rivals in the running of the Grade Pennsylvania Derby from PARX Race Course; let’s take a look at the field.
Race 11), 1&1/8th Mile Pennsylvania Derby Grade I. Purse $1,000,000 FOR THREE YEAR OLDS.
Post Time: ( 5:45)/ 4:45/ 3:45/ 2:45
Timeline (1), Brown/Castellano; Hard Spun colt has been off since a disappointing effort in the Haskell, where he was sent off as the race favorite. Rested starters in the Brown fire next out at a 27 percent clip, and with a beaten fave next out, 30 percent.
Outplay (2), Pletcher/Velazquez; colt out of Bernardini has won 3-of-4 but today will be his Graded Stakes debut; was easily handled two back by West Coast.
Watch Me Whip (3), Romans/Albarado; Smart Strike colt also makes his first graded start, and with only a place finish from his last three starts, lesser company is probably where he fits.
West Coast (4), Baffert/Smith; Flatter colt looks for his fifth straight victory, and his Travers score was very reminiscent of champion Arrogate’s from a year ago. Colt makes his sixth cross-country trip, so travel issues are non-existent, and the Baffert/Smith team have won a whopping 47 percent of their mounts together; the field can’t let him get away.
Irap (5), O’Neill/Gutierrez; out of Tiznow, colt stayed on for a game third last out in the Travers, and if not for the aforementioned sophomore, owns the summer Derby circuit having won both the Ohio and Indiana Derby’s; have to include in exotics.
Talk Logistics (6), Plesa/Pennington; High Cotton colt has finished second in his last four starts, one of which came in the Grade 3 Pegasus earlier this summer at Monmouth; connections would gladly take a similar placing today.
Game Over (7), Navarro/Carmouche; Mineshaft colt exits a strong second in the G3 WV Derby; a pair of bullet works earlier this month adds to the “intrigue” of this one as he’ll be forwardly pushing the favorites early; both trainer and jock are over 30 percent at the meet.
Irish War Cry (8), Motion/Lynch; Curlin colt weakened late in his Haskell start, which followed a hard luck second in the Belmont Stakes, a run that saw him bumped late to surrender the lead. Connections are dangerous in these spots, and colt has shown a nice rebounding ability; another for the exotics.
Term of Art (9), O’Neill/Van Dyke; Tiznow colt is winless from seven starts this year, all graded contests; trainer goes back with the blinkers, but as of now, he’s a notch below these.
Giuseppi the Great (10), Zito/Saez; by Lookin At Lucky, colt placed two back in the G2 Jim Dandy, however he ran to his 45-1 odds last out in the Travers finishing mid-pack, a likely spot he’ll find himself in here.
Selections: 4, 1, 5, 7
Cover Photo: West Coast; Benoit Photo