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SPORTS
September 22, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
The crowd came out to Parx Racing to see a star on Saturday in the 35th running of the Pennsylvania Derby, and California Chrome looked perfect for the role of a Hollywood hero as he walked regally around the paddock, accepted Victor Espinoza onto his back, and stepped onto the track to play his part. And then they ran the race. Someone messed with the script, just as they had in June at the Belmont Stakes, when Chrome wasn't able to parlay wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes into Triple Crown immortality.
SPORTS
September 22, 2014 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Staff Writer
They packed the apron in front of the glass-encased grandstand and surrounded the paddock, filling the steps up to the jocks room, straining to get a look at reigning Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome. He was about to contest the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby, the first reigning Derby winner to appear in the race. Once the race began, Bayern's jockey said he couldn't see California Chrome. As Martin Garcia pointed out, he wasn't turning around to look back. The crowd at Parx Racing, estimated at 16,000, got a thrill early Saturday evening, but it was from Bayern, trained by Bob Baffert, who led from the gate to the wire and set a track record over the 11/8-mile distance.
SPORTS
September 21, 2014 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Staff Writer
A red alert for slots players heading to Parx Casino in Bensalem: Saturday afternoon, you may not get your favorite parking spot. Just up Smarty Jones Way from the main casino building, 20,000 people are expected to pack the racetrack to watch reigning Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome compete in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby. Extra tellers were being hired, a press room was added to the ground floor, and the parking lots are expected to fill up, although attendance isn't expected to near the record 28,692 set in 1983.
SPORTS
September 19, 2014 | BY DICK JERARDI, Daily News Staff Writer jerardd@phillynews.com
PARKING and admission are free at Parx Racing. It was that way long before the casino rose in the massive parking lot off Street Road, the property bordered by Route 1, I-95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The racetrack building, which opened 40 years ago and has been refurbished several times, most recently after all those slot machines headed across the parking lot 5 years ago, typically gets small crowds on all but the most special of race days. That is typical of the sport in the 21st century, because 95 percent of the money is bet offtrack.
SPORTS
September 19, 2014 | By Dick Jerardi, Daily News Columnist
IN THE END, it is still a horse race. It just happens to be the most important race in the history of Pennsylvania racing and the first time a Kentucky Derby winner has run in the state after winning the Derby. The stakes are high for tomorrow's $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx, with many questions. Is California Chrome the same horse that so dominated his peers all winter and spring? Is he better? If he wins and looks good doing it, how cool will the Nov. 1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita be, with Chrome against unbeaten Shared Belief, last year's 2-year-old champion, who is scheduled to run in the Sept.
SPORTS
September 18, 2014 | BY DICK JERARDI, Daily News Staff Writer jerardd@phillynews.com
ONE OF the time-honored traditions of big-time horse racing is the "wait" at the barn for the star to arrive. Word was California Chrome would arrive on the Parx backstretch at 3 p.m. yesterday. The Kentucky Derby winner walked out his stall at Los Alamitos Race Course at 2 a.m. Pacific time, rode in a van to the Ontario (Calif.) Airport, where he flew with several other horses to Lexington, Ky. After a brief stop, the plane was flown to Allentown. Chrome got on to another van there and arrived at Barn 10, flanked by the three-eighths pole and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, promptly at 3:42 p.m. As is Chrome's custom, he was backed down the chute by assistant trainer Alan Sherman and walked smoothly right into his home until Saturday's $1 million Pennsylvania Derby.
SPORTS
September 18, 2014 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome, ready to race Saturday for the first time since his ill-fated bid for the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes, is the even-money favorite in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby. Is facing Chrome right off a layoff the best shot for his opponents? That would make sense. "It does leave him a little vulnerable in my book," said Ron Winchell, owner of Tapiture, also running in the Pennsylvania Derby, and Untapable, the favorite in the $1 million Cotillion.
SPORTS
September 17, 2014 | BY DICK JERARDI, Daily News Staff Writer jerardd@phillynews.com
IT REALLY is happening. On Saturday, Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome is running in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing in Bensalem. It became official late yesterday afternoon in the Cotillion Room on the first floor of the racetrack building between races Nos. 8 and 9 when entries were drawn for two $1 million races that will anchor the most significant horse racing event ever run in the commonwealth. A pill with No. 1 on it was pulled from a shaker with eight numbered pills.
SPORTS
September 3, 2014 | BY DICK JERARDI, Daily News Staff Writer jerardd@phillynews.com
ON SMARTY JONES Day at Parx Racing, 10 years after Pennsylvania's greatest horse won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before coming tantalizingly close to winning the Triple Crown, the fans there for yesterday's four stakes worth $1 million saw locals do everything but win the Smarty Jones Stakes in a huge upset, a Maryland racing legend fall just short of another impossible winning rally, a son of Smarty Jones win at the only distance Smarty did...
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