When MEDINA SPIRIT drew the outside post for the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on Saturday at Parx, it left the field pretty wide open. Baffert said that it was the plan all along to scratch if they drew an outside post, so when they got the nine hole, that's exactly what he did. Baffert has won the race three times but said he thought there was too much speed, so MEDINA SPIRIT will stay in California and prep for $300,000 Awesome Again.
With MEDINA SPIRIT scratched, that leaves nine horses for Saturday's race.
SPEAKER'S CORNER (Mott/J. Ortiz)
I AM REDEEMED (Pearce/Adorno)
HOT ROD CHARLIE (O'Neill/Prat)
MIDNIGHT BOURBON (Asmussen/Santana, Jr.)
HOT ROD CHARLIE, MIDNIGHT BOURBON and even BOURBONIC do not really need any introductions. HOT ROD CHARLIE won the Haskell but was taken down by DQ.
MIDNIGHT BOURBON was the runner up in the Travers, losing by only a neck to ESSENTIAL QUALITY. Before clipping heels with HOT ROD CHARLIE, he was closing in on third in the Haskell.
BOURBONIC was the huge upset in the Wood Memorial but most recently placed third in the West Virginia Derby (G3) and was fifth in the Belmont, so he has not consistently been running at the speed of the other two.
A couple of horses that have yet to become household names but could really mix things up are SPEAKER'S CORNER and AMERICANREVOLUTION.
SPEAKER'S CORNER is a Mott trained horse who won a seven furlong allowance at Saratoga on August 14th by 5 ¼ lengths over older horses. This was after a 307 day layoff. Last fall, he beat CADDO RIVER, GREATEST HONOUR, MILES D and BOURBONIC in his maiden start on October 11th.
AMERICANREVOLUTION is trained by Pletcher and won the Albany Stakes at Saratoga on August 27th. He beat Baffert's BOBBY BO by five lengths and was 11 ½ lengths ahead of IT'S A GAMBLE, who finished third. He also won the New York Derby at Finger lakes by 7 ¼ lengths. His stalking style is a perfect match for his outside post.