Alpha and Questing went into their contests at Parx Racing in Philadelphia on Saturday as favorites, but both came away disappointed. The Pennsylvania Derby looked to be another chance for Alpha to throw in as a colt to be considered for three-year-old of the year, but those hopes took a blow as he finished out of the money. In the Cotillion, Questing was the favored filly in this four horse race, but the undefeated My Miss Aurelia confirmed her past hype by taking the race by a nose.
The Grade II, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby was supposed to be a re-match of the Travers Stakes, where Golden Ticket and Alpha finished in a dead heat, but the race was won by the longest shot on the board, Handsome Mike. Alpha had a bit of trouble out of the gate, but recovered to take the lead around the first turn, then quickly relinquished it to Handsome Mike, who was leading at the ½ mile mark. Around the turn, the pack was crowded as Csaba, Handsome Mike, Golden Ticket, Alpha, and Macho Macho were all fighting to move up front. They were running four wide at the top of the stretch and as they approached the final furlong Alpha tired, Handsome Mike drew away, with Macho Macho and Golden Ticket finishing behind in second and third respectively.
In the Cotillion, Questing was the favorite, as she had won her last three races convincingly, including two of those wire to wire. There were only four horses in the field and before the race even began, My Miss Aurelia was the only one that was considered for a chance at the upset. The ½ mile marker saw Questing leading with My Miss Aurelia stalking about a length or so behind. At this point, Moment In Dixie tried making a move, but then quickly faded to the back and at the top of the turn it was all My Miss Aurelia and Questing as they ran side by side. This went on for the entire stretch as the horses traded the lead with each nod of their head, and My Miss Aurelia was able to push just ahead near the wire and won by a nose.
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