The Week in Review: Does the Path to the Classic Run Through Parx

It was 35 years ago this weekend that Broad Brush bolted to the outside fence at the top of the stretch while on a clear lead in the Pennsylvania Derby, then amazingly re-rallied to claw back the lead for an improbable win. They've long since rebranded Philadelphia Park to Parx, added a racino, and been awarded an upgrade of that track's premier stakes from Grade II to Grade I. But history tends to repeat, and that same quirky spot at the quarter pole proved eerily enigmatic yet again on Saturday,...

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Clairiere Caps Curlin Exacta in Cotillion

Stonestreet homebred Clairiere (Curlin) kicked home convincingly in Saturday's GI Cotillion S. at Parx to earn a first highest-level victory and snap a five-race winless streak while capping an exacta for her sire. A neck winner of the GII Rachel Alexandra S. in February, the Steve Asmussen pupil was second best to familiar foe Travel Column (Frosted) in the GII Fair Grounds Oaks a month later. She was fourth behind fellow Stonestreet product Malathaat (Curlin) in the GI Kentucky Oaks Apr. 30, third in the GII Mother Goose S. at...

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'Jackie' Looms Large in Gallant Bob

MGISW Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) stands well above the rest of the field in the GII Gallant Bob S. at Parx Saturday. Winner of the GI Hopeful S. and GI Champagne S. last season, the bay captured the GII Pat Day Mile May 1 on the GI Kentucky Derby undercard and missed by a neck next out in Belmont's GI Woody Stephens S. June 5. Dominating by 7 1/4 lengths in Saratoga's GII Amsterdam S. Aug. 1, the $95,000 KEESEP purchase denied previously unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' Life is Good...

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Medina Spirit to Scratch from PA Derby

Medina Spirit (Protonico), the 2-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's GI Pennsylvania Derby, will not be making the trip to Parx this weekend. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said Tuesday that the GI Kentucky Derby winner will remain in California and instead run in the GI Awesome Again S. against older horses at Santa Anita Oct. 2. "I want to do what is best for the horse," Baffert said. "I don't like the way he drew." Medina Spirit was assigned post position nine in the Pennsylvania Derby. Medina Spirit, third...

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Tuesday Insights: Regally Bred Filly Debuts at Parx

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 7th-PRX, $42K, Msw, 3yo/up, f/m, 7 1/2fT, 3:37 p.m. ET ANGHAAM (Curlin) is the first of just two foals out of Serena's Harmony (Tapit), purchased by Bridlewood Farm as a weanling for $3 million at Keeneland November in 2014, the top price for a weanling at that sale and the second most-expensive of that age group ever sold at Keeneland. Lady Take Charge (War Front--Take Charge Lady) brought a record $3.2 million in 2015. Serena's Harmony is a daughter of SW Serena's Cat (Storm Cat),...

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Pennsylvania-Bred Stakes Schedule Receives a Boost

The Pennsylvania-bred stakes schedule received a major boost for the remainder of the year, with four stakes doubling in value to $200,000, plus the addition of two $100,000 stakes. A total of $2.6 million in purses will now be paid out in restricted, state-bred stakes in 2021. "Our revenue has stabilized and the Race Horse Development Trust Fund has stood strong," Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association's executive secretary Brian Sanfratello said. "We wanted to send a message that Pennsylvania is on the move and the premier place to breed and race."...

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Trainer Richard Vega Handed Two-Year Suspension

Trainer Richard Vega has been hit with a two-year suspension by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission after a May 25 backstretch raid at Parx allegedly turned up a number of needles and syringes in his tack room. Paulick Report was the first to report on Vega's suspension, which was handed down June 29 and does not expire until June 28, 2023. According to a ruling posted on the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission's website, during the search of Vega's tack room investigators found 21 loaded syringes, 18 needles, one intravenous filled bag...

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PA Raids That Yielded 'Significant Contraband' Now Termed as 'Nothing of Substance'

One month after initially stating at a Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission (PHRC) meeting that May backstretch raids at Parx yielded a "significant amount of contraband" and "items that have no business on the backside," Tom Chuckas, the director of Thoroughbred horse racing for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, gave a Tuesday update that now describes the yield from those searches in markedly less sensationalistic terms. "In the last months, enforcement action was taken both at Penn National and at Parx," Chuckas told commissioners at the June 29 PHRC meeting during...

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Sinatra Named Equibase President

Sal Sinatra has been named the next president of Equibase Company LLC by the Equibase Management Committee, effective June 21. Sinatra succeeds Jason Wilson, who departed Equibase to join The Stronach Group this past April. Sinatra, who completed a double major in Mathematics and Statistics from Rutgers, was an assistant clerk at the Daily Racing Form and in 1985, he became a racing official at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands. He was also the assistant racing secretary at Beulah Park in Ohio. Between 1990 and 1999, Sinatra was president and...

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Richard Vega Suspended by Parx Stewards

According to a ruling posted on the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission's website, trainer Ricardo (Richie) Vega had been "summarily suspended" by the stewards at Parx Racetrack. The story was first reported by the website The decision comes after the racing commission staged a backstretch raid at Parx over the weekend of May 22-23. Investigators searched cars, barns and grooms' quarters. Tom Chuckas, who heads the Pennsylvania Racing Commission, reported to his fellow regulators during a Zoom call that "a significant amount of contraband" had been uncovered and that the...

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JPMorgan, Four Corners Racing's Anthony Trimarchi Joins Writers' Room

It was an eventful few days for racing in the northeast, and the TDN Writers' Room presented by JPMorgan Private Bank broke down all of the latest developments in the Monmouth jockey standoff and the raids on Parx barns by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission Wednesday morning. Plus, they welcomed Four Corners Racing's managing partner Anthony Trimarchi as the Green Group Guest of the Week to discuss his experiences as a new owner in the game and the economics of racing from a banking perspective. "I was exposed to racing at...

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Champion Vequist to Target Cotillion

Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Swilcan Stable's reigning champion 2-Year-Old Filly Vequist (Nyquist) is aiming toward a late summer/fall campaign, while targeting the GI Cotillion S. at Parx Sept. 25, according to her trainer Butch Reid, Jr. "She's been training lightly down at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland and she'll be coming back to my barn at Parx in the next 10 days," said Reid, Jr. "We're looking forward to a fall campaign with her and have our eye on the Cotillion. I could see us possibly getting her...

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