This week the racing world focuses on three-year-olds, and focuses on Parx. So does Picks and Ponderings. Saturday marks the Pennsylvania Derby (GII) and the Cotillion Stakes (GI), two million-dollar races for the sophomore set. California Chrome races for the first time since the Belmont Stakes, Untapable returns for her first start since facing the boys in the Haskell, and all eyes are on the Philadelphia oval for one day. These races ended up being very live Breeders’ Cup preps last year, with 2013 winner Will Take Charge coming up just a nose short in the Classic, and 2013 Cotillion winner Close Hatches finishing second in the Distaff behind Beholder, on Beholder’s home course.
In addition to the dirt routes, three-year-old sprinters also have their day in the Gallant Bob (GIII). The older grass route set also gets a chance to shine, at least for those among the grass routers who have been bred in Pennsylvania; the stakes portion of the card kicks off with the Alphabet Soup Handicap.
Picks and Ponderings heads over there this week on a figurative road trip. The entry features my analysis of the Cotillion and the Gallant Bob, and Paul Mazur‘s take on the Pennsylvania Derby and the Alphabet Soup. Take a look, see what we have to say, and let us know in the comments there if you think we’re really right or really wrong about something!