Dick Powell’s 2019 Pennsylvania Derby Tipsheet

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September 18th, 2019

The $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) will be run at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt at Parx Racing this Saturday. The original field of seven was reduced by one when Maximum Security had to make an emergency visit to a vet clinic to have a severe bout of colic be resolved, so the horse who crossed the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby (G1) has been scratched.

MATH WIZARD (#1) (8-1) just missed in the Ohio Derby (G3) going this distance then he came back with an even third when racing wide from post ten in the Indiana Derby (G3). He was awful last out and tries to break through. At least Edgard Zayas can save ground to the far turn and he wins 28% with his route mounts and 26% when he rides for Joseph Saffie Jr.

IMPROBABLE (#2) (3-1) finished up last year with a win in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) going two turns. He was no match for Omaha Beach in the Rebel Stakes (G2) then came back there and lost by a length to him in the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park. When Omaha Beach did not make it to Kentucky Derby (G1), Improbable became the lukewarm 4-1 betting favorite and, over a very sloppy track, he was only beaten just over three lengths. Trainer Bob Baffert brought him back in the Preakness (G1) and he went off as the favorite again. He had trouble at the gate, got away slow, and was never really in contention. Baffert put blinkers back on last out and he won a listed stakes race at Del Mar and gets Mike Smith, who rode him in the Preakness.

Not sure what maiden claimer SHANGHAI SUPERFLY (#3) (30-1) is doing in here but it’s a free country and he does train here every day. He’s slated for last even on his best effort.

When WAR OF WILL (#4) (5-1) is good, he beats top company; when he’s bad, you can’t find him with a search warrant. He was on the top of many Kentucky Derby (G1) lists when he won the Lecomte Stakes (G3) and Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds then ran poorly there in the Louisiana Derby (G2). Trained up to the Kentucky Derby (G1), he was down on the inside with nowhere to go until Tyler Gaffalione tried to get off the rail on the far turn and caused some interference. As soon as he got outside, he was interfered with by Maximum Security and faded to eighth. Two weeks later, he came back to win the Preakness (G1) but then raced poorly in the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Jim Dandy (G2). Mark Casse is raving about the way he’s training and we will see if he can run well off two poor efforts.

SPUN TO RUN (#5) (8-1) began to prosper when stretched out to two turns and promptly broke his maiden, then beat allowance foes by over seven lengths. He chased the pace in the Haskell Invitational (G1) with some traffic problems on the far turn then bounced back here to win the Smarty Jones (G3) in his second start with blinkers. A fast win over the track should count for something in here.

MR. MONEY (#6) (4-1) is a red-hot colt that has taken the path of least resistance to get here. He won the Pat Day Mile (G3) going a one-turn mile at Churchill Downs then came back and won the Matt Winn Stakes (G3) going two turns. From there, Bret Calhoun skipped the Grade 1 stakes on the calendar and dominated lesser company in the Indiana Derby (G3) and West Virginia Derby (G3). The odds-on favorite in his last three starts, he has trained brilliantly for this.


Mr. Money (#6) (4-1)
Improbable (#2) (3-1)
War of Will (#4) (5-1)
Spun to Run (#5) (8-1)


$100 Exacta
6 with 2

PHOTO: Mr. Money (c) Gustavsson