Diamond M Stable’s War Dancer enjoyed a perfect ground saving trip, and then rallied to out-finish a game Uncle Dave to win the 16th running of the $200,000 PTHA President's Cup by three-quarters of a length Saturday afternoon at Parx. The six year-old son of War Front won for the second time in four starts this year, and with the victory, pushed his career earnings to just over $1 million.
On paper, it looked as though War Dancer could potentially be the pace setter in the field of five. After a clean break and a chance to make the lead, jockey Junior Alvarado instead grabbed a hold of War Dancer, took him back to fifth, down on the inside of the turf course, and allowed him to settle in behind the leader Uncle Dave. The leader had an easy time of it up front. Despite some token pressure from second choice Roman Approval, Uncle Dave ran the opening quarter in 25.67 and clicked off the first half mile in 50.55. With Roman Approval just to the outside flank of Uncle Dave the entire way down the backstretch, Alvarado sat patiently at the fence about two lengths behind those two, knowing that at some point he’d need a way out.
Coming off the final turn he got that chance. Uncle Dave cut the corner and suddenly drew clear from Roman Approval, and in just a blink, with a little more than an eighth of a mile to go, found himself with a three length lead. With clear room now on the outside, Alvarado got busy with War Dancer. He swung off the fence turning for home, set his mount to a drive, but again, suddenly found himself with some serious ground to make up. Coming to mid-stretch, he began to steadily close the gap. Uncle Dave ran valiantly, giving all he had, but War Dancer, a Grade 1 runner-up last year, was just too classy and too good. Continuing to gain, War Dancer finally got to Uncle Dave with about 50 yards to go, took the lead and then edged away to win by three-quarters of a length.
Racing out of the Bill Mott barn, War Dancer went off as a strong 3-5 favorite and paid $3.20, 2.60 and 2.10. Uncle Dave (6-1) was a very game second and paid 5.00 and 2.80. Roman Approval (2-1) was able to stay on for third and paid 2.10. The final time for the one mile and one-eighth on a turf called firm was 1:52.31.
Source: Parx Racing