Tightend Touchdown Upsets as Longshots Rule Parx DashMr. Amore Stable’s Tightend Touchdown sat a perfect stalking trip off front runner Bold Thunder, finally forged ahead with a sixteenth to go and then held off the late charge of longshot Mongolian Saturday to win Saturday’s $200,000 G3 Parx Dash by a head in a race dominated by big prices. Mongolian Saturday was second at 51-1 while 43-1 shot Mongol Bull ran big as well to finish third.
The Parx crowd had gathered to see if the incredible Ben’s Cat could make history with a fourth straight Parx Dash victory and the 30th win of what should be a Hall of Fame career, but it was not to be as ‘Ben’ was slow getting into gear, found himself ninth early in the eleven horse field and then was simply unable to make up the ground, eventually finishing a disappointing sixth. The day, instead, belonged to the speedy Tightend Touchdown. Despite ten career wins, the 6 year-old gelded son of Pure Precision had seemingly been off form recently having finished no better than fifth in four starts since a third place finish in the G3 Turf Monster here at Parx in September of last year. He had lost last year’s Parx Dash by a nose to Ben’s Cat but today would be his day.
He broke cleanly from post five and showed the kind of speed he’d shown two years ago, landing a perfect second just to the outside of the expected front runner, Bold Thunder. He chased Bold Thunder into the stretch after fractions of 22.39 and 45.34 and trailed by a length and a half with an eighth of a mile remaining. Into that final furlong, Bold Thunder began to tire and Tightend Touchdown took dead aim and came away with the lead as they came past the sixteenth pole. The outcome was still in doubt, though, as Mongolian Saturday, who had been a close fourth throughout was now closing in the middle of the course. Those two would come to the wire together, but the photo would not be in doubt. Tightend Touchdown had held on, with the official margin listed as a head, but it was probably even closer than that, maybe a half a head more like it.
Off at 12-1, Tightend Touchdown, trained by Jason Servis and ridden by Frankie Pennington, returned $26.80, $10.60 and $7.40. Saddled with the outside gate and a 51-1 price, Mongolian Saturday was in close pursuit the entire way and did just about everything but win. He paid $54.00 and $9.80. Mongol Bull raced in mid-pack through the first half mile and made a good late run in the lane, outfinishing 8-5 favorite Power Alert for third and paid $22.00 to show. The final time for the five furlongs over a turf course labeled firm was 57.19.