Pure Sensation aims to sizzle in Parx Dash

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

July 5th, 2016

Pure Sensation lit up both the Belmont Park turf and the tote board when registering an 18-1 upset of the Jaipur (G3) on the Belmont Stakes undercard last month. On Saturday, the Christophe Clement-trained gray shortens up to five furlongs for another stern test in the $200,000 Parx Dash (G3).

Breaking from post 13 in the six-furlong Jaipur, Pure Sensation surprisingly set the lead, set a very hot pace, and just held on by a neck in course-record time of 1:06 3/5. It was undoubtedly a strong effort from the gelded son of Zensational, who has reportedly battled soundness issues.

This marks Pure Sensation's second trip to Parx. Last September, he edged eventual Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner Mongolian Saturday by a nose in the Turf Monster H. (G3) as the 2-1 favorite.

Rocket Heat, the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3) winner who faded to third in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint and to 10th in the Jaipur in subsequent outings, will break just outside Pure Sensation in post 9. A potential sizzling pace from that pair and Bold Thunder could throw the Parx Dash into the lap of any one of several quality closers.

The most noted of these is the venerable Ben's Cat, who won four straight renewals of the Parx Dash from 2011-14 but ran a dull sixth when seeking his fifth last season. The 10-year-old, bred, owned and trained by King Leatherbury, took his first two starts of the year, including the Jim McKay, but was most recently third to the improving Take Cover in the Pennsylvania Governor's Cup at Penn National.

In addition to those two, the Australian-bred Power Alert merits a look with his best. A major winner at Churchill and multiple times at Gulfstream, a slow start was blamed for his title-defense loss of the Twin Spires Turf Sprint last time.

Fast Flying Rumor, who handily defeated Power Alert in the Turf Dash at Tampa Bay Downs in January, could be tough following a runner-up try in an allowance over the course and distance June 13.

(Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)