Supporting stakes on Saturday’s Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and Cotillion (G1) undercard at Parx included the $200,000 Parx Dirt Mile S. for Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) contenders and the $200,000 Greenwood Cup (G3) at 1 1/2 miles.
Parx Dirt Mile
After being passed in midstretch, Mind Control came back along the inside to edge odds-on Silver State by a head in the final strides of the Parx Dirt Mile.
John Velazquez was up on the five-year-old horse, who was making his third start for Todd Pletcher since being transferred this summer, and Mind Control is campaigned by Red Oak Stable and Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stables.
The eight-time stakes winner stopped the teletimer in 1:36.59. Mind Control left the starting gate as the 5-2 second choice among seven runners. He rated a couple of lengths off the pace, fifth after a moderate half-mile in :47.16, and rallied to take a short lead in upper stretch.
Grade 1 victor Silver State, who reeled off six straight wins earlier this season, got left at the start, launched a bold move from last on the far turn, and the 4-5 favorite was closing fast to the outside of Mind Control entering the stretch.
After advancing to take about a half-length lead, Silver State switched to his wrong lead and lost his momentum. Mind Control took advantage, improving his career mark to 23-9-3-4, $1,313,229.
A Grade 1 winner in 2018 and 2019, Mind Control snapped an eight-race losing skein when capturing his first start for Pletcher, the John A. Nerud (G2) at Belmont Park in early July. The son of Stay Thirsty was exiting a fourth in the Aug. 28 Forego (G1) at Saratoga.
Warrior’s Charge wound up another 2 1/2 lengths back in third, and pacesetter Rock On Luke, Thorny Tale, West Will Power, and Informative completed the order of finish.
Mind Control was bred in Kentucky by John Brunetti’s Red Oak Stable. He’s out of the stakes-winning Lightnin N Thunder mare Feel That Fire.
Greenwood Cup (G3)
Magic Michael saved his best for the final furlongs in the Greenwood Cup, getting up by a neck to earn his first stakes win. Trained by Jamie Ness and ridden by Frankie Pennington, the 9-2 third choice went last-to-first in the nine-horse field and finished the three-turn, 12-furlong distance in 2:32.01.
Last Samurai, who closed boldly at 23-1 to take a short lead in midstretch, held second by about a length over 10-1 Sheer Flattery. Lookin at Roses, 2-1 favorite Moretti, Shooger Ray Too, Math Wizard, pacesetter Sea Foam, and Forewarned came next under the wire.
By Dramedy, Magic Michael is owned by Morris E. Kernan Jr., Yo Berbs and Jagger Inc. Runner-up in the Battery Park S. at Delaware Park and Deputed Testamony S. at Pimlico this summer, the four-year-old gelding rebounded from a seventh in the Aug. 21 Philip Iselin (G3) at Monmouth Park.
The Kentucky-bred chestnut, who was claimed for $30,000 at Churchill Downs last November, has now bankrolled $312,343 from a 23-8-5-0 record.