Three Chimney Farm's Guarana will look to keep her perfect record intact against ten rivals, seeking her third straight Grade 1 win, as the headliner in the $1 million G1 Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing.
Trained by Chad Brown, the Ghostzapper 3-year-old burst on to the scene with an eye catching performance in her career debut, winning a maiden special weight at Keeneland by 14 3/4 lengths. Moving immediately to Grade 1 company she won the Acorn at Belmont, this time flashing home six lengths in front. She then made it three for three, holding off Point of Honor, winning by a length in the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks.
A number of accomplished fillies will be looking to hand Guarana her first defeat. Trainer John Servis will send out last year's juvenile filly champion Jaywalk. The Cross Traffic filly finished her 2018 season with wins in the G1 Frizette and the G1 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies, victories that propelled her to an Eclipse Award. A bit out of sorts after moving to Florida at the start of the year, she flashed her brilliance again after coming back north and winning the G3 Delaware Oaks. She'll be coming from her own stall at her home track for a trainer that knows how to win big races.
Serengeti Empress wowed everyone last year with a double digit victory in the Ellis Park Debutante and then went to Churchill and won the G2 Pocahontas by an astounding 19 ¾ lengths. Her only subpar effort this year was when she bled in the G2 Fair Grounds Oaks. She's won the G2 Rachel Alexandra and the G1 Kentucky Oaks and has run second in the G1 Acorn and G1 Test. Her defeat in the Acorn came at the hands of Guarana, but that was a one turn mile and she was hounded through blazing fractions yet still managed to stay on to be a clear second. Trainer Tom Amoss hopes the Alternation filly can land her second Grade 1 win of the year in the 1 1/16-mile Cotillion.
The Cotillion offers the winner an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Distaff this fall at Santa Anita Park.
The full field, in post position order, is as follows:
- Serengeti Empress – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – Tom Amoss
- Afleet Destiny – unnamed – Uriah St. Lewis
- Street Band – Sophie Doyle – Larry Jones
- Jeltrin – Leonel Reyes – Alexis Delgado
- Collegeville Girl – Angel Castillo – Richard Vega
- Horologist – Luis Saez – John Mazza
- She Makes Me Smile – Wesley Torres – Trevor Gallimore
- Guarana – Jose Ortiz – Chad Brown
- Sweet Sami D – Paco Lopez – Patrick McBurney
- Bellafina – Flavien Prat – Simon Callaghan
- Jaywalk – Joel Rosario – John Servis
A terrific undercard is topped by the $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes, a six furlong sprint for three year-olds. Upgraded last fall, it will be run as a Grade 2 race for the first time.
Four other stakes will be contested on the giant Saturday program. State-breds square off in the $100,000 Alphabet Soup on the turf at one mile and one-sixteenth and the $100,000 Plum Pretty Stakes for fillies and mares on the main track at that same distance.
The $150,000 Turf Amazon pits lady sprinters on the grass at five furlongs. Rounding it out is the $150,000 Parx Dirt Mile.
For the first time, the Cotillion and Pennsylvania Derby will be broadcast to a national audience, the races covered by NBC from 5:00 to 6:00PM.
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