Coal Front seeks return to form in contentious Parx Dirt Mile

September 16, 2019 05:29pm
Coal Front_Amsterdam 2017_615x400
Photo: NYRA/Chelsea Durand

An eclectic group of eight older horses has signed on for Saturday’s $150,000 Parx Dirt Mile, a race formerly known as the Pa Derby Champion Stakes when it ran at 1 1/16 miles.

Now, the 
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile could be on the agenda for top runners exiting this Pennsylvania Derby (G1) undercard feature headlined by Coal Front, a Todd Pletcher-trained son of Stay Thirsty who was recently announced as an addition to Spendthrift Farm’s 2020 stallion roster.

Running for Robert LaPenta and Head of Plains Partners, Coal Front was third most recently in the Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3) and ran seventh when knocking heads with the nation’s best on the main track in the Metropolitan Handicap (G1).

On Saturday, he’ll seek a return to early season form that saw the fark bay colt win Oaklawn Park’s Razorback Handicap (G3), then ship overseas for a lucrative score in the Godolphin Mile (G2).

Mike Smith will be aboard as Coal Front breaks from post 6.

Two other graded stakes winners are entered, with Jason Servis dropping Monongahela down from a sixth-place effort in Saratoga’s Whitney (G1). Two back, the 5-year-old by K One King struck in Monmouth Park’s Philip H. Iselin (G3). The consistent type has only finished out of the money in six of 25 career starts.

Golden Brown, a winner of three of his last four stakes races — two starts on turf, and two on the dirt — gets back to the main track here. He owns back class as a winner of Delaware Park’s Kent Stakes (G3) last season as a 3-year-old who also took on the Haskell Invitational (G1).

Irad Ortiz Jr. rides Monongahela from post 4, while Paco Lopez has the assignment on Golden Brown from the No. 7 stall.

Others prominent in the Parx Dirt Mile are the locally based Forwarned (post 2), fifth in the Whitney and eighth in the Woodward (G1) for trainer Uriah St. Lewis, who’s never afraid to take a shot, as well as Diamond King (post 8, who tried turf but missed the board in the Sept. 1 Red Bank (G3) at Monmouth.

Others in the field are Grasshoppin (post 1), Bonus Points (post 3) and Wild About Deb (post 5).

Post time for the Parx Dirt Mile, Race 8 on Saturday, is 4 p.m. ET.

2019 Parx Dirt Mile (LS)


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