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Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. celebrates aboard Handsome Mike after winning the Pennsylvania Derby.
The co-feature on Saturday at Parx Racing near Philadelphia was the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G2) for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. Alpha, winner of the Jim Dandy (G2) then dead-heated for win in the Travers (G1), was sent off as the 7-10 favorite in the field of 7 over 3-1 second choice Macho Macho, winner of the West Virginia Derby (G2). Golden Ticket, who shared in the dead heat win in the Travers with Alpha, was the 6-1 third choice on the board.
Handsome Mike draws off in the stretch.
Also on the card was the Cotillion Stakes (G1) won by My Miss Aurelia.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Handsome Mike Ortiz Jr. 40.40 14.00 9.80 8 Macho Macho Nakatani 5.00 4.20 6 Golden Ticket Cohen 4.00 Winning Time: 1:51.63 $2 Exacta 3-8 171.00 $2 Trifecta 3-8-6 705.40 $0.10 Superfecta 3-8-6-1 218.36
Left: Handsome Mike in the winner's circle. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "I got to the lead very easy. And when I asked him at the quarter pole, he just pulled me hard. I’d like to thank the owners and trainer for giving me the opportunity to ride this horse."
Right: Handsome Mike returns after the race. He is usually trained by Doug O'Neill who is serving a suspension so the trainer of record is O'Neill's top assistant Leandro Mora.
Left: Handsome Mike in the paddock before the race.
Right: Handsome Mike in the post parade. He battled for the lead under new jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. with favorite Alpha, then drew off to win by 2 lengths. He improved his record to 2 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 10 starts, earning $756,780 for owner J. Paul Reddam. Reddam said Handsome Mike would be considered for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
Left: Second place finisher Macho Macho in the paddock before the race. The 3-1 second choice raced in 6th early under regular rider Corey Nakatani, then rallied to get second beaten 2 lengths. The Steve Asmussen trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 8 starts, earning $742,214 for owner Jerry Durant.
Right: Third place finisher Golden Ticket returns after the race. The 6-1 third choice raced close up 4th under jockey David Cohen, then passed the tiring Alpha late to get third beaten 2 1/4 lengths. The Ken McPeek trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 4 seconds, and 2 thirds in 11 starts, earning $648,335 for owner Magic City Thoroughbred Partners.
Sixth place finisher and beaten favorite Alpha in the paddock before the race. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "Very disappointing. When Alpha got squeezed, that really hurt us. The whole race changed. When the (assistant starter) moved him back he got mad and it caused us to break a touch slow, get squeezed, then he got keen. He wanted to be there close to the lead and then he went to the inside and couldn’t get out of the inside. I was shocked to see he only got beat 4 1/4 lengths."
Well Spelled (outside) wins the Gallant Bob Stakes
33-1 longest shot Private Zone battled for the lead with 5-1 fourth chice Il Villano down the backstretch and around the turn through fractions of 21.41 and 43.95, with Trinniberg stalking them in third. Into the lane, Trinniberg took over the lead through 5/8 in 56.46, but 15-1 Well Spelled, last early, closed with a rush to win by 1/2 a length in 1:09.88. It was another 3 1/4 lengths back to Private Zone third, while favorite Currency Swap was seventh.
Left: Well Spelled in the winner's circle. Jockey Pablo Fragoso said, "I said at least he's going to have a shot, because it wasn't an easy 21-and-2. He missed the break, then I just took my time with him. Then he's running, giving me more confidence, running giving me more confidence. At the 2 1/2 furlongs I kissed to him and he gave it to me."
Right: Well Spelled returns after the race. Trainer Ben Perkins Jr. added, "In the last 50 yards it was just a matter of whether he was going to get up."
Left: Second place finisher Trinniberg returns after the race. Trainer Shivananda Parbhoo said, "He ran a good race, I can't complain. If he comes back like he went into this race I will go to the (Breeders' Cup) Sprint."
Right: Third place finisher Private Zone heads out for the post parade under jockey Horacio Karamanos. The Leandro Mora trainee improved his record to 1 win, 1 second, and 1 third in 8 starts, earning $74,160 for owner Good Friends Stable.
Seventh place finisher and beaten favorite Currency Swap heads out for the post parade under jockey Rajiv Maragh. The Teresa Pompay trainee has a record of 2 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 7 starts, earning $270,300 for owners Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence.
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