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Pennsylvania Derby 2014 Odds Picks Plays

Pennsylvania Derby 2014 Odds Picks Plays: The 35th running of the Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing and Casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania (formerly known as Keystone Race Track and Philadelphia Park until 2010) is this Saturday, September 20, 2014 and is for 3 year-olds racing 1 1/8 miles (9 furlongs)on the dirt for a whopping $1,000,000.

Bayern Pennsylvania Derby 2014

Bayern, pictured above, enters the 35th running of the Pennsylvania Derby with 7-2 morning line odds. Bayern is Kari & Sigi’s top pick for the $1,000,000 G2 race.
Photo: Susie Raisher, Coglianese/NYRA

This race has been moved around a lot in the month September over the past few years. Most recently in 2010, it was moved to the last Saturday in September to try and get a stronger field preparing for the Breeders’ Cup and also made it easier to move further from other strong evens like the Travers Stakes.  Originally, this race started in 1979 and ran on Memorial Day.  It finally received graded status in 1981.  It was then moved to Labor Day due to some renovations and they finally landed on the end of September. Smart move and we have a very sharp field of 3 year olds in the line-up.

The race record is held by To Honor and Serve set in 2011 at 1:47:34 and Western Playboy won by the largest margin of 17 lengths in 1989.  Andrea Seefeldt has the honors of becoming the first female jockey to win the Pennsylvania Derby followed up the next year for Pam Shavelson becoming the first female trainer to win it. Joe Bravo has the most wins with 3 and Woody Stephens has the most trainer records with 3 as well.  Last year this race was won by Will Take Charge for D. Wayne Lukas in 1:49.28.

Looks like a fantastic day of racing in Pennsylvania with 3 stakes races on a card of 13.  The 2014 Pennsylvania Derby is the 12th race of the day with a post time of 5:40 pm ET following Race #11 which is the Cotillion (GI) and Race #10 the Gallant Bob Stakes (GIII).

Last weekend we tackled the Woodbine Mile. Sigi’s pick of Bobby’s Kitten ran a great race for third. I’d like to see him in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.  My picks all bounced and none hit the board. The closest I got was the #11 Grand Arch who finished fifth after flattening out in the stretch.  Looks like the second, third and fourth place finishers from the Four Star Dave all petered out.  Makes you go hmmmmm on Seek Again. So let’s take a lot at who we like in the Pennsylvania Derby.

Kari’s Picks:

One horse I really like in here is the son of Offlee Wild Bayern.  Last out in the (GI) Travers he pretty much put on the brakes in the stretch and finished 10th. He earned one of the highest speed figure of this group with a 108 from his win in the (GII) Woody Stephens on Belmont Day where he smoked 7f winning by 7 1/2 lengths. He really caught my eye that day and I had him in a Daily Double but missed the second leg. Next out he won again by 7 1/4 lengths in the (GI) Haskell stakes going 1 1/8 miles, same as this race, proving many doubters he could get the distance.  Four back in the 2014 Preakness he finished 9th after a early troubled trip and didn’t fire much.  He’s the enigma for me but I really like him to pull off a win from post #4 with Garcia riding again and Baffert will have him ready.

California Chrome looks fantastic and seems to have filled out more since last out in the 2014 Belmont where he finished 4th in a deadheat after a bad break and getting a chunk of his hoof taken off. Not much needs to be said about this guy. With a stellar career of 6 straight wins before the Belmont, what is not to like about this son of Lucky Pulpit? After a 3 month lay-off Art Sherman looks to have him in fine shape. He’ll need to break well from post #1 and not engage Bayern to early but track a few back in the garden-spot.  Espinoza is up and knows this horse like that back of his hand.  If he wins off the layoff I wouldn’t be surprised, but the odds just won’t be there.

From a value standpoint I’m going with Candy Boy who last out lost by a hair to Tapiture in the (GII) West Virginia Derby earning him his top 106 speed figure.  He has beat two fast opponents in an 8.5 furlong race at Santa Anita, was too close to the pace in the Santa Anita Derby and had a terrible time in the 2014 Kentucky Derby after he was taken up and bumped into. Last year he ran second to Shared Belief. I’m not sure Candy Boy has found a track he truly loves and maybe it will be the obscure Parx.  Personally I like the Candy Rides on the synthetic and would love to see him take a run on the grass.  If he wins I’d be ecstatic, if he hits the board, just as excited. He has some really nice recent works and leaves door #2 with Joel Rosario to pilot.

Kari’s Play:

Will Bayern steal the early lead while Chrome stalks? Will Bayern be contested at the front by C J’s Awesome who has early speed and wire-jobbed his last race?  Will Chrome be sharp enough off the long layoff and injury to overcome Bayern who can be a monster as we’ve seen out front?  Will Candy Boy or Protonico pick up the pieces if the speed fails? Bayern to me is the key for this race and we’ll see what happens Saturday.

I’m going to play a $1 Trifecta Race #12:  4/1,2,3,7/1,2,3,7 $16.00 and a $2 pick 3 Race #10: 6/1,2,7,8/4 $8.00

Sigi’s Picks:

California Chrome is returning in the Pennsylvania Derby and probably will be the heavy favorite.  That is why I’m giving Bayern the benefit of the doubt.  I think now he’s running his perfect distance at 1 1/8 miles.  He’s going to play come and catch me and probably never be caught.  California Chromes main goal is the Breeders’ Cup Classic, so it is not necessary to win, just get in a good race.  Tapiture won the West Virginia Derby despite the troubles in the stretch and now with a clean trip he’s dangerous.

Sigi’s Play:

I’m playing Bayern to Win and Place and also a trifecta Race #12: 4/1,5,7/1,5,7

Good luck to everyone, thank you Sir Sigi and safe ride to all.

Related Links:
Pennsylvania Derby Events
Cotillion Stakes 2014
California Chromie Quotes

2014 Pennsylvania Derby Post Postions & Odds
1.  California Chrome 1-1 V.Espinoza/A.Sherman
2.  Candy Boy 10-1 J.Rosario/J.Sadler
3.  Protonico 8-1  J.Castellano/T.Pletcher
4.  Bayern 7-2  M.Garcia/B.Baffert
5.  Noble Moon 15-1 I.Ortiz Jr./.Gyarmati
6.  Classic Giacnroll 15-1  K.Carmouche/L.Guerrero
7.  Tapiture 5-1 R.Napravnik/S.Asmussen
8.  C J’s Awesome 12-1 E.Prado/K.McPeek

 

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