Alpha and Golden Ticket hit the wire together in the Grade I Travers and they meet again four weeks later in the $1 million, Grade II Pennsylvania Derby at Parx.
Godolphin's Alpha is the 9-5 morning line favorite based on his body of work. In addition to sharing the Travers title, the son of Bernardini was 2nd in the G1 Champagne, 1st in the G3 Withers, and 1st in the G2 Jim Dandy.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin once again gives Ramon Dominguez a leg up and Alpha must spot the field weight and prove that he can run a quality race away from New York.
Golden Ticket is the co-highweight at 124 pounds and his huge Travers effort seemed to come out of left field. He saved ground while Alpha raced wide at the Spa last time so he was fortunate to escape with a dead-heat. The Ken McPeek runner will probably try to stalk the pace once again under David Cohen.
Macho Macho exits a game victory in the G2 West Virginia Derby and was flattered when runner-up Bourbon Courage returned to take the G2 Super Derby. The Steve Asmussen runner is fresh, consistent, and versatile, and Corey Nakatani rides him well.
Csaba (blinkers on) is an interesting colt making the turf-to-dirt move for Phil Gleaves. The early-pressing sort has done the bulk of his damage on conventional dirt at Calder and might attempt a wire job under Rajiv Maragh.
Graham Motion's Stephanoatsee, back-to-back local winner Casual Trick, SoCal based Handsome Mike, and Junebugred complete the 8-horse field.
The nine furlong PA Derby is the 11th race at Parx on Saturday with a scheduled post time of 6:16pm eastern.