For the first time, the Gr.2 $1,00,000 PA Derby and the Gr.1 $1,000,000 Cotillion Stakes are scheduled on the same “super Saturday,” September 22, highlighting the 2012 Parx Fall Festival of Racing, and will be covered live on television by Philly 57.
“We have scheduled both races six weeks before the Breeders’ Cup, and have no competition from other major three-year-old stakes in New York or California,” said Sal Sinatra, Director of Racing at Parx. “To have both of our signature races on the same day with $3 million in the day’s total purses and full television coverage, we have created the biggest day of Thoroughbred racing in the country during the summer months.”
The Fall Festival begins on Labor Day, September 3 with Smarty Jones Day, headed by both the Gr.3 $350,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and the Gr.3 $350,000 Turf Monster Handicap, a BC Challenge Race. A blue and white theme will prevail in honor of the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner who spent his career at Parx with trainer John Servis. The 11-race card will offer $1,300,000 in purses. Fans will receive a Smarty Jones bobble head, and Team Smarty will be available for autographs.
PA Day at the Races on Saturday, September 8 features a full card of state-bred races, including five stakes, while Parx owners will be honored the following Saturday with Owner’s Appreciation Day. Purses for overnight races will be increased 100%, with horses that have started at Parx preferred. The traditional $250,000 PTHA President’s Cup heads a total card worth $750,000.
On September 22, the pinnacle of the Parx racing schedule, the Gr.2 $1,000,000 PA Derby, will share top honors with the Gr.1 $1,000,000 Cotillion Stakes for three-year-old fillies. Along with the traditional hat giveaway and television coverage from Philly 57, the 12-race card includes the $300,000 Gallant Bob Handicap, the $75,000 Alphabet Soup for PA-breds, and a 50% increase in overnight purses.
The Fall Festival closes on October 6 with the pink-themed Lady’s Day, and a complete card of races for fillies, including the $75,000 Brandywine Stakes and the $75,000 PHBA Distaff, for PA-breds. Click here for full schedule.