Michelle Yu's Penn Derby Preview

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Chantal Variot

September 20th, 2016

The $1,250,000 Penn Derby takes place at Parx Racing and Casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania this Saturday, September 24th. You can watch the race live on our website or iPhone App.  We asked our VIP Manager Michelle Yu for her picks!
PostHorseOddsJockeyMichelle's Thoughts
Awesome Slew
Paco Lopez
Showed an affinity for the local strip with a 7 length trouncing last out in the Smarty Jones. He seems like a need the lead type and there were not horses like Cupid and Nyquist in the Smarty Jones. I can chalk up his Haskell choke to slop but I don't think he's a contender for the win.
Kent Desormeaux
We heard the connections say that he doesn't NEED the rain to win but we have yet to see that be the case. If it rains, unload. If it's dry I would look elsewhere. To date he only owns 1 win on fast ground and this is a big talented field.
Summer Revolution
Mike Smith
Lost all shot in the Kings Bishop with an awkward start and then was just not good enough to catch up. This will be his first try going a route but if anyone can milk it that's Mike Smith. Would have to really improve but has the pedigree to get better with ground. Interesting.
Javier Castellano
A versatile sort when it comes to running, he was outclassed in the Travers. While he appears a useful sort I think that he is a cut below the top tier of the 3-year-olds.
Rafael Bejarano
Baffert always ends up loaded and can collect million dollar purses like a kid collects candy on Halloween. While this grey has had some hiccups along the way he has built up his heart lately with back to back Derby scores. I think with his confidence boosted he is a threat. Must use for me.
Wild About Deb
Tiago Pereira
With only a maiden win to his credit Deb could find himself in a better situation should he face lesser. Sure, he managed a runner up on the Smarty Jones behind the 1 horse last out but he will need to take a gigantic leap forward here to be a contender.
Gun Runner
Florent Geroux
How do you not like Gun Runner? He might not be fast enough or want to go much farther than 1 1/16 but he tries every time and one day he will be rewarded for that. The pace scenario favors him and he will come grinding away at the end.
My Man Sam
Julien Leparoux
His runner up effort in the Bluegrass and his physical appearance made him a "wise guy" horse in the Derby but so far it seems his effort there was a fluke. He wasn't even able to hold off Tale of Verve in a short field allowance race at the Spa at odds on. The best I can say for Sam is that Julien Leparoux gets back on him and he has been absolutely red hot since returning from a minor wrist injury.
Mario Gutierrez
The rubber match continues! Who is better? Nyquist? Exaggerator? Will the going be wet or dry? So many questions to be answered in this rich event. He seems to have been enjoying his staycation at San Luis Rey even if all their plans (like swimming) didn't work out. It's hard to dislike a horse who has only finished worse than 3rd once so I am going to say that the Champ will be back!
Sunny Ridge
Joe Bravo
Jason Servis is having an excellent meeting here with a small sampling and while this horse has never won a big race he is an interesting contender with a an upside of price. Exotic play.
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I am going to give Nyquist the benefit of the doubt here. It looks like it will be a fast strip, he has been pointing for this race and he is good fresh. I want to use Cupid because it seems Bobby B can do no wrong right now. Gun Runner can't be counted out because he always gives his all and he likes to pick up checks. I will use Exaggerator but unless it suddenly turns to rain he will only be an exotics play for me. That Travers was a bad effort for a horse that has run A LOT.