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The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (PTHA) works hard to protect and provide for the Parx Racing horsemen through the guarantee of live racing, horsemen’s rights, health care and pension for horsemen, benevolence programs, and more.


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PA Day at the Races
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Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (PTHA)



September 8th, 2020
By Dick Jerardi

It was quite a Pennsylvania Day at the Races on Labor Day at Parx, with five stakes races for state breds, including a moment after one that perfectly explains the emotion surrounding the people and their horses. It was an amazing Sunday for Parx when trainer Butch Reid won his second Grade I at Saratoga. Oh by the way, they finally ran the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. And, yes, trainer Bob Baffert won it for a record-tying sixth time.

No surprise that trainer Eddie Coletti and owner Bob Hutt’s Uptowncharlybrown Stud won the first two stakes with sons of the great sire Uptowncharlybrown.

It was the tough 5-year-old Wait for It over the tough 7-year-old Someday Jones in the Storm Cat. The two horses, sons of Pennsylvania’s top sire and the state’s favorite horse (Smarty Jones), have now combined to win 20 races and more than $1 million in purses.

“He’s got such a great personality,’’ Coletti said of Wait for It. “Everybody around here loves him. And when you put the tack on him, he comes out here and tries.’’

Hutt loves Wait for It and really loves Uptowncharlybrown.

“He’s proven himself the top stallion in Pennsylvania and probably the Mid-Atlantic region,’’ he said.

The full brothers, Uptowncharlybrown and Midnightcharly, ran 1-2 in the 2019 Banjo Picker Sprint. They did it again this year, the 6-year-old again beating the 5-year-old.

“They’re both competitive,’’ Coletti said. “Obviously, Midnight likes a little more distance. The three-quarters probably ain’t his game.’’

The brothers have won a combined 17 races and are closing on $1 million in earnings. Coletti keeps them apart in training because they are just too competitive. It shows when they run.

It was entirely appropriate that Jamie Ness and Mychel Sanchez teamed up to win the Mrs. Penny as they are the runaway leaders in the Parx trainer and jockey standings respectively.

The 7-year-old mare Its a Journey got a brilliant ride from Sanchez to get up just in time. It was her 15th win in 47 starts, her seventh win since Ness claimed her for $35,000 just over a year ago. She had run twice on grass before the Mrs. Penny, eighth in a 2015 optional claimer at Indiana Downs and fifth in a Pa-bred stake at Penn National last year. She was ready for grass this time.

“She doesn’t have a lot of speed so I saved all the ground I could,’’ Sanchez said. “The hole opened up and we got through.’’

When Pink Caddy came around horses to win the Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial, it was impossible for her trainer Randy Allen not to feel emotional. After all, the filly is co-owned by Gregory Quick and the Club Risque Stable of Parx Hall of Famer Nick Saponera who passed away last December.

“This is more than extra special,’’ Allen said. “I’ve been talking to him all day. As you can tell, I’m a little choked up over it. He was like a father to me. We did everything together. For the last 14 years, I ate lunch at his house every day. We went over to dinner every Friday and Saturday night.’’

And Pink Caddy?

“He would love this,’’ Allen said. “I told him `I don’t know if you’re up there watching today, but we could use a little help if you wouldn’t mind giving us some.’’’

The Critical Way was the only horse on the also-eligible list when the Marshall Jenny was drawn. Two scratches got the 6-year-old into the field and the Jose Delgado trainee dominated the race from in front with jockey Rubin Silvera.

“I was surprised,’’ Silvera said. “It looked like there was a lot of speed in the race. He broke really sharp and there was nothing to do. He win easy.’’

The day before Pa. Day at the Races, it was Parx Day at Saratoga when Reid unleashed the maiden Vequist in the Grade I Spinaway Stakes for 2-year–old fillies. All she did was crush the field by 9 1/2 lengths, giving Reid his second GI at the Spa after Poseidon’s Warrior won the 2012 Vanderbilt.

“It’s always been one of my favorite spots as a fan.’’ Reid said. “To actually be a participant. Both Grade I’s were for Tom McCrath, a local guy who has only been in the business about 10 years.’’

McGrath’s Swilcan Stable bred Vequist. The dam, Vero Amore, who cost just $15,000 at the Timonium 2-year-old sale, lost the 2014 Black Eyed Susan Stakes in a photo. There was no camera needed in the Spinaway.

After losing her debut by a neck in fast time at Parx, the owner sold an interest in Vequist to top national owners Gary Barber and Adam Wachtel.

Reid will consider the Alcibiades and Frizette for her next start. Then, the hope is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland.

And the day before, they finally ran the Derby. The only likely scenario that could get 3-5 favorite Tiz the Law beat was if the Baffert-trained Authentic could clear the field and keep going. That is exactly what happened. John Velazquez could not have ridden Authentic any better and Baffert could not have had the colt any more ready, after losing one serious contender after another all year culminating in the final minutes before the race when Thousand Words flipped in the paddock and was scratched.

So Baffert was down to his last horse. Turned out that was the only one he needed.

Parx played host to Pennsylvania’s Day at the Races on Labor Day. The 12 race card was restricted strictly to statebreds and featured five stakes races.
The Storm Cat Stakes was first at 1-1/16 miles on the main track. Wait For It took most of the play and was sent off as the favorite. Wait For It sat inside of Tudox Expectations through a modest 24:4 first quarter. After taking the lead by a ½ length past the ½ mile pole, Wait For It turned away Tudox Expectations as Someday Jones tried to get involved from third.
Wait For It began to open up past the 1/8 pole and would go onto win by 2-1/4 in 1:44:1. Anthony Nunez was aboard the Uptowncharlybrown gelding for trainer Ed Coletti. Uptowncharlybrown Stud LLC owns the winner, who has now won three of five his year and nine of twentythree lifetime.
The 8th race was the Banjo Picker Stakes at 6 furlongs on the main track. The entry of Midtowncharlybrown and Midnightcharly was sent off as the favorite. Dancing Bull wnet out to a 1 length early lead with Midtowncharlybrown sitting just in behind through a blistering 21:2 first quarter. Dancing Bull would open up to a four length lead past the ¼ pole, but Midtowncharlybrown split horses to win in 1:10:3.
His stablemate, Midnightcharly, who was some 13 lengths off the lead early, stormed up the rail to be second.
Roberto Rosado rode the son of Uptowncharlybrown for trainer Ed Coletti Jr. The eleven time winner is owned by Uptowncharlybrown Stud LLC and Godric LLC.
The Mrs. Penny Stakes was up next for the three-year-old fillies at 1-1/16 miles on the turf. Shemakesmehappy was sent off as the favorite on a wide-open betting board.
Moon Chant led them to the backstretch at 20/1 as the field took closer order past the ½ mile pole. Shemakesmehappy engaged Moon Chant near the ¼ pole as they fanned out. It’s A Journey who was 10th early split horses to get up and win narrowly over Puca Penny in 1:44:2.
Mychel Sanchez was aboard the winner for trainer Jamie Ness. The 7 year old daughter of Jump Start is owned by Gap View Stables and Jagger Inc. She has now won 15 of 47 lifetime starts and is now 5 for 7 in  2020.
The 10th race was the Dr Teresa Garofalo Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares at 6 furlongs on the main track. Bronx Beauty was set off as the favorite with four horses taking most of the play.
Pink Caddy sat just behind a three horse speed dual through a 21:3 first quarter. As they moved around the far turn she moved up three wide to engage the leaders through a 44:3 half mile. Despite a stubborn Sunny Dale, Pink Caddy and Mychel Sanchez got up to win by a length in 1:10:4.
Randy Allan trains the three-year-old daughter of El Padrino who has now won four of six in her career. Club Risque Stable and Gregory Quick own the winner.
The final stake of the day was the Marshall Jenney Handicap at 5 furlongs on the turf. The entry of Ventriloquism and Word On A Wing was sent off as the favorite.
Critical Way and Ruben Silvera broke very alertly and never looked back, leading through fractions of 22:1 and 45:1 enroute to a 4 length win in 57:1.
Critical Way was sent off at 11/1 and has now won 5 of 18 lifetime. Jose Delgado trains the Tizway gelding for the owner, Moster Racing Stables.