Three-year-old Songbird continued her undefeated streak with a victory in September 24’s Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing in Pennsylvania. The Jerry Hollendorfer-trained filly needed no urging from jockey Mike Smith to win the $1million race.
When the six horse field left the gate, Carina Mia and jockey Julien Leparoux took the early lead. Smith was content to let Songbird follow in second for the first part of the 1 1/16 mile race. As they approached the far turn, Songbird made her forward move. Rounding the turn for home, she surpassed Carina Mia, winning by 5 ¾ lengths for her eleventh straight victory.
The Cotillion was followed by the $1.25million Pennsylvania Derby. Billed as a re-match between Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist and Preakness winner Exaggerator, the 1 ½ mile race did not yield a win for either of the rivals.
Nyquist stayed near the front, in third, for most of the race while Exaggerator took his usual spot near the back of the twelve horse field. At the 5/16th pole, jockey Mario Gutierrez let Nyquist come up to challenge leader Awesome Slew. Around the final turn, Awesome Slew swung wide, causing Nyquist to go even wider and leaving a large opening on the inside for Connect. Jockey Javier Castellano took advantage of the opportunity, guiding Connect through and on to the win. Gun Runner, who had been following Nyquist, came up for second. Nyquist took sixth in the midst of a cluster of horses including Awesome Slew while Exaggerator was seventh, seven lengths behind Nyquist.