Mott duo poised to strike at Parx Racing

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

September 20th, 2018

Hofburg winning the Curlin Stakes at Saratoga (c) NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography

The biggest day of racing on the Parx Racing calendar is Saturday. The $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and $1 million Cotillion Stakes (G1) are the co-features, joined by the $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes (G3).

Conditioner Bill Mott ships in a pair of Juddmonte homebreds for the huge day and I think both will come out on top.

Race 3 is a first-level allowance test at a mile and 70 yards. Mott will saddle OWN AGENDA (#6) (7-2), who returns following a failed experiment on the green at Saratoga.

Own Agenda had a decent debut as a juvenile at Churchill Downs when fourth. In his 2018 bow, the sophomore finished second in a lively race at Keeneland, which preceded a sharp maiden conquer under the Twins Spires.

The First Defence colt will be equipped with blinkers for the initial time on Saturday. If the recent bullet five furlongs that Own Agenda worked over Saratoga’s fast Oklahoma training surface is any indication, he will run big here. And I love when John Velazquez rides for Mott.

The Pennsylvania Derby will be run as Race 11 and classic-placed HOFBURG (#2) (#3-1) is the second choice on the morning line. The recent Curlin Stakes romper missed the Travers Stakes (G1) but that may have been a blessing, as the Saratoga surface was not kind to late runners that afternoon.

Hofburg really got my attention with his strong runner-up showing in the Florida Derby (G1) in his third lifetime performance. The Tapit colt was later third in the Belmont Stakes (G1) behind the mighty Justify and is simply a classy horse.

The chestnut will race with blinkers for the initial time like stablemate Own Agenda earlier on the card. The well-bred sort has been training in rapid fashion, including a sizzling :47.45 bullet breeze over the fast Oklahoma training track last time on September 16.

Regular pilot Irad Ortiz Jr. comes along to guide Hofburg, and the sophomore might state his case as the second-best three-year-old in his crop by season’s end.

I’ll take my chances with a pair of horses adding blinkers, working big and coming in fresh for a Hall of Fame conditioner. In Bill Mott I trust.