Bensalem-based Parx Racing announced Tuesday its 2021 thoroughbred racing stakes schedule featuring over $5 million in purses and highlighted by the same-day $1 million duo and return of the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby and Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes on Sept. 25.
Five other stakes races that day – The Gallant Bob (G2), Turf Monster (G3), Dr. James Penny Memorial (G3), and the Greenwood Cup (G3) – will also be run for Pennsylvania fans to bet on.
Parx Racing was forced to cancel the majority of its 2020 stakes schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including both Grade 1 races. Last year, their last day of racing was on March 10 with a return to live racing on June 22. The track is currently running events and the last day of this meet is Dec. 29.
“Other tracks have had a lot of success both from a wagering stand point and being able to create a buzz running several of their major races on the same card,” Parx Racing director David Osojnak said in a news release. “The goal is to continue to expand the PA Derby/Cotillion card into one of the premier days in the fall racing schedule.”
The inaugural PA Derby/Cotillion Preview Day, which will take place on Aug. 24, will feature the Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes and the Cathryn Sophia Stakes as well as the always exciting Parx Dash (G3).
As an added incentive Parx will award a $50,000 bonus to both the owner and trainer of any horse which wins both the Smarty Jones and the PA Derby, as well as a separate $50,000 bonus for connections that sweep both the Cathryn Sophia and the Cotillion.
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”This added incentive is emblematic of Parx Racing’s and the (Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association’s) commitment to Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry and community,” Osojnak said. “Several of our 2019 stakes participants went on to compete in the Breeders’ Cup races in 2019 with Spun to Run (Smarty Jones winner and PA Derby participant) winning the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) for (Juan) Carlos Guerrero. With our stakes schedule Parx is an ideal place to condition and compete good up-and-coming horses.”
Parx will also host 12 Pennsylvania Bred Stakes, awarding $1.2 million dollars in purses highlighted by five state-bred stake races on PA Day at the Races, Aug. 23.