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First Dude leads field of 7 in Pennsylvania Derby

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I was a little surprised to see First Dude wheeled back from the Travers after only four weeks since the Breeders' Cup is six weeks away from this Saturday's running of the Pennsylvania Derby.  Apparently trainer Dale Romans likes the six week spacing for his colt as well as the opportunity to grab a piece of the $1 million purse offered by Parx Racing.  (That just doesn't sound right...Philly Park sounds better.)

Saturday might be put up or shut up time for First Dude; he's made a habit out of running well and contending in each race but at some point he's got to actually win to be taken seriously.  He needs to win the Pa Derby to be anything more than a pace consideration for me in the Classic.

NIck Zito's rapidly developing Morning Line could be the big sleeper in this spot after dusting a Saratoga N1X race by eleven lengths last time out.

John Velazquez is currently listed as the jockey on both A Little Warm and Morning Line, so there will likely be a jockey change on one of those two horses.

Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby
Parx Racing (Philadelphia Park)
1 1/8 miles
Three year olds
Purse: $1,000,000
Post time: 6:08 EDT

PP

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

ML

1

Exhi

Castellano, J.

Pletcher, T.

5/2

2

Severe Weather

Madrigal, R.

Stites, F.

20/1

3

Afleet Again

Velasquez, C.

Reid, R.

12/1

4

A Little Warm

Velazquez, J.

Dutrow, A.

3/1

5

Morning Line

Velazquez, J.

Zito, N.

9/2

6

First Dude

Albarado, R.

Romans, D.

8/5

7

Friend Or Foe

Solis, A.

Kimmel, J.

12/1