Grade 3 Parx Dash Tops Saturday CardWhile the G2 Pennsylvania Derby and G1 Cotillion Stakes continue to be the marquee events on the Parx stakes calendar, over the past decade its turf sprints have consistently attracted some of the nation’s top turf sprinters. Saturday’s running of the G3 $200,000 Parx Dash will be no different featuring a battle between turf heavyweights Ben’s Cat, Tightend Touchdown, Stormofthecentury and Marchman.
A slight 5-2 morning line favorite is The Jim Stable’s Ben’s Cat. There are virtually no superlatives left to describe what has been a phenomenal career for the now 8 year-old gelded son of Parker’s Storm Cat. His stats read almost like a misprint. Twenty-six lifetime wins. 16 for 26 all-time on the grass. 12 of 18 at five furlongs on turf. And earnings of $1,985,990. He’s the defending champion in this event, coming from off the pace over a soft course last July to overtake Tightend Touchdown and win for the fourth time over the Parx course. He’s coming off a rare defeat having finished fourth after a troubled trip in the six furlong, G3 Jaipur over the Belmont course June 7th. Regular rider Julian Pimentel rides again for the amazing King Leatherbury.
The speedy Tightend Touchdown has been a rival of Ben’s Cat the last two seasons and the 5 year-old gelded son of Pure Precision has gotten the better of Ben on two of three occasions. They met in the PA Governor’s Cup last June at Penn National with Tightend Touchdown winning in near course record time. Ben came right back to even the score when he won the G3 Parx Dash of 2013 just one month later. And then in last year’s G3 Turf Monster Handicap here at Parx, Touchdown was second to Ben’s third when both went down to long shot Stormofthecentury. Often a front runner, Touchdown showed his versatility last time out coming from off the pace to win his second Governor’s Cup at Penn National. Kendrick Carmouche will be in the saddle for Mr. Amore Stable and trainer Jason Servis.
Beechwood Stable’s Stormofthecentury (7-2) and Martin Racing Stable’s Marchman (4-1) should also prove major factors come Saturday. Stormofthecentury has shown the propensity to out run his odds. He won the 2013 G3 Turf Monster at 28-1 and is coming off a second in the PA Governor’s Cup at 13-1. Stewart Elliott will ride for Lou Roberto, Jr. Marchman is already multiple graded winner this year having captured the G3 Shakertown at Keeneland this April and the G3 Turf Sprint at Churchill this May. Trainer Bret Calhoun has named Robby Albarado to ride.