While would-be favorite Maximum Security (New Year’s Day) was ruled out of Saturday’s GI Pennsylvania Derby earlier this week, another runner from the same Gulfstream $16,000 maiden claimer that that MGISW graduated in, Math Wizard (Algorithms), pulled off a 31-1 shocker in Parx’s signature event.
Claimed by his current connections for $25,000 out of an 18 1/2-length romp in Hallandale in January, the chestnut hadn’t won since then, but had racked up plenty of money. He was fourth in both the Apr. 6 GII Wood Memorial S. and May 4 Oaklawn Park Invitational, and was a close second in the June 22 GIII Ohio Derby, all at this trip. He was third behind Mr. Money (Goldencents) in the GIII Indiana Derby July 13, but failed to fire when sixth behind that same re-opposing foe in the GIII West Virginia Derby Aug. 3.
Ignored in the wagering while breaking from the rail, Math Wizard was away alertly. The same could not be said for race favorite Improbable (City Zip), who threw his head about right at the start and was off last. Math Wizard saved all the ground towards the back of the pack as a hard-held Mr. Money showed the way with GI Preakness S. hero War of Will (War Front) applying token pressure through splits of :24 2/5 and :49 3/5. Math Wizard was called on to quicken behind six panels in 1:13 2/5, and swung very wide into the lane as Mr. Money fended off Improbable up the fence and War of Will to his outside. Math Wizard had all the momentum down the center of the track, however, and the frontrunner had no response for him late.
PENNSYLVANIA DERBY-GI, $1,015,000, Parx Racing, 9-21, 3yo,
1 1/8m, 1:50.94, ft.
1–MATH WIZARD, 118, c, 3, by Algorithms
1st Dam: Minister’s Baby (GSW, $440,270), by Deputy Minister
2nd Dam: Halo My Baby, by Halo
3rd Dam: Lachesis, by Iron Ruler
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN, 1ST GRADE I
WIN. O-John Fanelli, Collarmele Vitelli Stables LLC, Bassett
Stables, Ioannis Zoumas, Wynwood Thoroughbreds and Saffie
A. Joseph Jr.; B-Lucky Seven Stable (KY); T-Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.;
J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $600,000. Lifetime Record: 13-3-2-3, $860,623.
*1/2 to Ginny’s Grey (Political Force), SW, $277,803. Click for
the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A.
2–Mr. Money, 122, c, 3, Goldencents–Plenty O’Toole, by
Tiznow. ($130,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Allied Racing Stable LLC;
B-Spruce Lane Farm (KY); T-W. Bret Calhoun. $200,000.
3–War of Will, 124, c, 3, War Front–Visions of Clarity (Ire), by
Sadler’s Wells. ($175,000 RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP; €250,000 2yo
’18 ARQMAY). O-Gary Barber; B-Flaxman Holdings Limited
(KY); T-Mark E. Casse. $100,000.
Margins: NK, 1, NO. Odds: 31.10, 1.70, 3.30.
Also Ran: Improbable, Spun to Run, Shanghai Superfly. Scratched: Maximum Security. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
“It was great; I got a perfect trip,” said winning rider Irad Ortiz, Jr., who was a late replacement for Edgard Zayas. “He broke, put me in a good position. I saw the favorite didn’t break and I didn’t panic. I just said, ‘he’s going to come from somewhere. He’s just not forwardly placed in front of me.’ He got through inside of me and from there I just tried to follow him. Then on the backside my horse jumped on the bridle. When I put my hands down he jumped on the bridle and I said, ‘whoa, wait a little longer.’ I wanted to wait a little longer and not get inside of Improbable, so I just wait, wait, wait and at the half mile I made my way outside of him. He was coming little by little, but when he turned for home and he switched leads then he took off. He ran hard. When I turned for home and I opened the reins and he started taking off I said, ‘I’m going to get there.'”
Winning co-owner John Fanelli said, “This is my home track. They asked us [to run], but we wanted to. The reason we didn’t know was he was laying down in his stall and he wasn’t feeling himself and we were going to push him, but we said, ‘the worst case scenario would be we don’t come and it cost us a couple thousand dollars.’ And, if he feels good in the next couple of days, we will bring him up, and that is exactly what happened. He just got better and better.”
Saturday’s victory was the first graded win of any kind for 32-year-old Barbados native Saffie Joseph, Jr., who has emerged as one of the leading trainers based in South Florida year round.
“I’ve got to retire now! I feel blessed,” Joseph said. “I’m at a loss for words. John, he made a gutsy call. A lot of the credit goes to him. You’ve got to take chances in life. If you’re going to get anywhere you’ve got to take chances.”
The eighth black-type winner for fourth-crop sire Algorithms, Math Wizard is the first GI winner for the graded-winning young sire who is a full- or half-sibling to four other graded winners. Other graded performers by Algorithms include this year’s GIII Gulfstream Park Sprint S. winner Recruiting Ready and 2017’s GIII Sugar Swirl S. victress Rich Mommy. Math Wizard’s damsire Deputy Minister is more established, having sired the dams of 248 stakes winners, including champions like Curlin, Abel Tasman, Rags to Riches, and Halfbridled. Math Wizard is the last reported foal out of his dam, 2002 GIII Gardenia H. winner Minister’s Baby, who also produced Puerto Rican black-type winner Ginny’s Grey (Political Force) and the dam of 2017 GIII British Columbia Derby winner Chief Know It All (Flashy Bull).