Pennsylvania Derby, September 20th

Welcome back to the Pick 6 Challenge! The Summer Spectacular segment started several weeks ago, but that certainly does not mean it is too late to join. This racing segment started on July 19th, with the opening weekend at Saratoga (featuring the Diana). The segment will finish September 27th at Belmont with the Jockey Club Gold Cup. If you are new to the game, the rules are simple. You get 15 picks to spread across 6 races. The objective is to pick the most race winners using the fewest picks. The scoring is most correct picks, followed by number of picks used, followed by winnings. The Summer Spectacular will feature many races from Saratoga and Del Mar.

The weeks are winding down to catch Piolo and his TripleDouble entry. Will nobody beat this man! This week see’s the return of California Chrome in the Pennsylvania Derby, one of many graded stakes at Philadelphia Park. We also have races from Churchill Downs and a few late ones at Charles Town on the ticket for this weekend. Good luck everyone!

Race 1: The Gallant Bob Stakes.
Our first race from Philadelphia is the Gallant Bob Stakes.  There are a lot of good horses in this race, you can pick them all, but they can’t all win.  Fast Anna would be 3-0, but for getting nipped by a nose in the King’s Bishop.  He has great numbers on paper, will it turn into results though?  Prudhoe Bay, Pure Sensation, and Favorite Tale are all looking good too, and they’ve raced each other a few times as well, with varying results.  So who is training best lately?  Good luck with them.

Race 2: The Cotillion Stakes.
The Cotillion Stakes is second on the day, and looks like it will be a great race too.  Untapable, Stopchargingmaria, and Sweet Reason are three really great horses, and I am not sure which one will come out on top.  There’s an argument for any of them, so best of luck choosing.  If you are looking for a long shot, Cassatt breaks from the inside, is coming off 3 wins, 2-1-1-0 at distance and has an early running style, as does Jojo Warrior.  Bayern won the Haskell getting out early over Sweet Reason, could the same happen here?

Race 3: The Dogwood Stakes.
To Churchill Downs for the Dogwood Stakes. Fiftyshadesofgold could improve after two 4th places finishes in Grade 1’s as none of the horses that beat her are in this race.  Doesn’t hurt that she’s firing bullet workouts as well. Bird maker from Marylou Whitney did miserably in the Test and has had a bit of an up and down year. Milam came in second to Fiftyshades in the 8 belles. Thank You Marylou from the Ramseys might do better at 7 furlongs, but also has a poor graded stakes record.

Race 4: The Pennsylvania Derby.
Back to Philadelphia we go for the Pennsylvania Derby, where everyone will be rooting for the favorite, except for me, and maybe John will try and beat him too.  Chrome is your favorite, Candy Boy hasn’t raced since August, losing to Tapiture.  Protonico won last time out at Parx, but seems outclassed to me.  I don’t trust Bayern after that stinker in the Travers, I don’t think anyone will ever let him get too far out front again like the Haskell.  Noble Moon and Classic Giacnroll just don’t seem to be in the same class as Chrome and Tapiture.  I like Tapiture in this race.  C J’s Awesome is moving up in class, comes off a win with Prado on the last day at Saratoga.  Should be interesting, but I like Tapiture over Chrome in this one, but that’s not to say I won’t try to put a pick on each of them.

Race 5: The Wild and Wonderful Stakes.
The last two races of the day (or night) take us to Charles Town.  I’m interested to see Pants On Fire, former Derby hopeful, in the Wild and Wonderful Stakes. Good Lord gets Javier on him and is hoping to overcome a stinker after 3 wins. Handsup Moneydown was killing it at Philadelphia, we’ll see how he does at Charles Town with a different jockey too. The Camden Comet gets a hot jockey and has shown he can compete with Handsup finishing second in April. Lovmeister, Smash and Grab, and Mezzano all have their plus’s and minus’s, but I am looking for a good run from Pants On Fire, who was beaten by a neck by Golden Ticket last time out.  Hopefully Paco Lopez is ready to take this one.

Race 6: The Charles Town Oaks.
Lastly we finish with the Oaks, and our largest field of the day.  Miss Behaviour and Size are looking good to me in this race.  Executive Allure comes off three wins and a second, has a few bullet workouts, and may look to be the early speed.  Watch Kiss to Remember, if Lopez can get it done on Pants On Fire, maybe he can get it done on this Filly as well.  Watch for Sky Crew and Discreetly Elusive if they can get in.

There you have it for the penultimate day of the Summer Spectacular.  We are all chasing Piolo for not only the win in the segment, but the honor of taking the title of winnings as well.  Good Luck everyone.

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