The powerhouse stables of Brad Cox and Bob Baffert have leading contenders in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) at Parx on Saturday.
The Brad Cox-trained Saudi Crown remains in search of his first stakes win after missing in both the Dwyer (G3) and Jim Dandy (G2) by a nose, the latter to last year’s champion juvenile Forte. Saudi Crown has earned race-high Brisnet Speed ratings of 104 and 106 for those two efforts.
Breaking from post 11 is the Baffert-trained Reincarnate, who notched the Sham (G3) and Los Alamitos Derby earlier in the season. In between those two scores were thirds in the Rebel (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1), and a 13th-place run in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
“This race is going to be a good step up for him,” said Baffert, who has won three of the past five editions of the Pennsylvania Derby. “He ran really well at Los Alamitos. He is going to have to break well and show up. That’s the main thing. If he shows up, I don’t see why he wouldn’t run well.”
Il Miracolo failed to maintain a straight course in the Aug. 22 Smarty Jones (G3) at Parx, but still won by three lengths. That followed a runner-up finish in the restricted Curlin S. at Saratoga behind Scotland, who subsequently faded to sixth after setting the pace in the Travers (G1).
The late-developing Magic Tap has won two of his last three, both in overnight company, and remains with upside for trainer Steve Asmussen. Magic Tap is a Tapit half-brother to Test (G1) heroine American Gal.
Multiple graded-placed Gilmore stretches back out after concentrating on one-turn events for much of the past six months, while Crupi steps back up in grade following a pair of overnight victories for Todd Pletcher.