Weekend Recap 9/22

Will Take Charge does it again, takes the Pennsylvania Derby

Will Take Charge has catapulted himself into the top three year old in the country conversation as he won his second consecutive $1,000,000 race on Saturday, winning the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby.  Sent off as the 2/1 favorite, Will Take Charge ( Top Selection) set up shop in fifth early on as Moreno ( 2nd Selection) had to do battle early on with Fury Kapcori.  Moreno was able to put that rival away on the turn, but Will Take Charge and Luis Saez went diving down towards the rail and catapulted past the leaders, pulling clear to win by two and a quarter lengths in the end.  Moreno had actually been passed in mid-stretch by Battier ( Longshot) who made a huge move at the quarter pole, but Moreno dug back in to grab the second position, while Battier had to settle for third.

In the $1,000,000 Cotillion Stakes it was Close Hatches ( Top Selection) who stalked the early leader Sweet Lulu ( 2nd Selection) and blew past that rival in the stretch to get the win.  Sweet Lulu got pressed early on by Close Hatches and My Happy Face and didn’t have much left for the stretch drive, as it was her first time going more than a mile.  But Close Hatches and Mike Smith drew clear late to get the win.  Sweet Lulu ran second while 25/1 shot Street Girl ran into the third spot.  City of Weston pulled off the biggest shocker of the day winning the Gallant Bob Stakes by three quarters of a length at odds of 30/1.  Race favorite Clearly Now started to close in late and actually took the lead momentarily, but City of Weston had all the momentum.  Roadhog ( Top Selection) rallied late to get up in time to win the Alphabet Soup Handicap over a very game Shetan ( Longhsot) who ran second.  SS Skittles ( 3rd Selection) set the early pace and held on for third at 11/1, completing a Trifecta worth $164.20 for every $2.

So Many Ways takes home the Charles Town Oaks

It was a wet and sloppy night at Charles Town on Saturday as So Many Ways splashed home to a win in the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks.  Sent off as the 8/5 favorite, So Many Ways ( 2nd Selection) settled back off a legitimate pace set by Jax N Jill and R Free Roll ( Top Selection) for the seven furlong event.  Miguel Mena guided So Many Ways to the far outside going to the final turn and she responded, blowing past her rivals, including R Free Roll to win by almost three lengths.  R Free Roll finished up in second while 12/1 shot Mr. Hall’s Opus rounded out the trifecta.

In the Researcher Stakes, it was Luis Saez, who earlier in the day guided Will Take Charge to the big win at Parx, who piloted home Take It Like a Man to a win in the $400,000 race.  Take It Like a Man was mid-pack early and started making his methodical move going into the backstretch.  By the time they got to the final turn, he launched a three wide bid and blew past his rivals, pulling clear down the lane to win by a length and a quarter.  Mongolian Saturday finished up in second with Bond Vigilante ( Top Selection) finishing up in third.

Immortal Eyes all the way in the DeFrancis Dash 

Immortal Eyes seemed to relish the Saturday slop at Laurel Park as he dominated the $350,000 DeFrancis Dash at Laurel Park.  Sent off at odds of nearly 10/1, Immortal Eyes broke beautifully under jockey Travis Dunkelberger and shot right out to the lead.  Immortal Eyes got some token pressure from Royal Currier and Il Villano ( 2nd Choice) but as they reached the stretch, Immortal Eyes kicked on and opened up a big lead.  Saturday’s Charm ( 3rd Selection) rallied up into second, but never threatened the winner, who galloped home nearly seven lengths in front at the wire.

Tricky Hat utilized a stellar rail run by Rosie Napravnik to win the Laurel Turf Cup over a late closing Eagle Poise ( 2nd Selection).  And Ben’s Cat elected to scratch out of the DeFrancis Dash, but still managed a big win taking home the Laurel Dash.

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