09/26/2014 1:31AM

Pennsylvania Derby day 2014 - a photo album


Pennsylvania Derby day 2014 was a day to remember - in large part due to the appearance of the immensely popular California Chrome.  Many fans in the upbeat crowd (estimated 16,000+) wore California Chrome shirts or carried 'Chrome' signs, and applause greeted the dual-classic winner before and after the PA Derby.  Yet the race went to Bayern, in easy fashion and in track-record time.  Heavily-favored Untapable powered home in the Cotillion.

We attended in 2012 and '13 and witnessed Derby wins by Handsome Mike and Will Take Charge and Cotillion scores by My Miss Aurelia and Close Hatches.  And, as in past years, PARX treated everyone wonderfully - as if everyone there was family.  The crowd was positive and energetic, the races competitive, the weather picture-perfect.  It was, simply, a great day.

Here are some photos by DRF shooters Michael Amoruso, Tom Keyser, Justin N. Lane, Kim Pratt, Debra A. Roma, and myself.  Enjoy!

And we very much look forward to visiting PARX for Pennsylvania Derby day 2015!


Above:  Mummers are a Philadelphia tradition, and a  talented and colorful wandering group helped keep things lively throughout the day.

Above:  Early on, California Chrome part-owner Steve Coburn signed autographs patiently for fans.

Above and below:  Very early - before the first race - crowds settled in for the fun day ahead.

Above/below:  Edge of Reality, Jose Ortiz aboard, took the first stakes - the Alphabet Soup.  Graham Motion trained the winner.

Above:  Sometimes you like a horse just because he's game, or his connections outwardly love him, or he has a memorable name.  Roadhog fits all three bills.  He ran second in this year's Alphabet Soup, adding to a resume that includes a win in last year's Alphabet Soup and a close second in 2012.

Above:  Jockeys converged from all over for the day, including Paco Lopez.

Above:  Kendrick Carmouche, entering the winner's circle.

Above:  Javier Castellano.

Above:  Rosie Napravnik signing autographs.

Above:  Andrew Wolfsont.

Above:  Photographer Tom Keyser's choice for favorite PA Derby day smiles - Jacqueline Davis heads postward on Nurse John.

Above:  Back to stakes action...  Favorite Tale (center, red saddlecloth), on his way to winning the G3 Gallant Bob.  Fast Anna, left, ran second.

Above/below:  John Bisono gives Favorite Tale an appreciative pat after the race, and trainer Guadalupe Preciado shows his happiness.


Above:  Untapable heads to the paddock before the Cotillion.

Above:  The Cotillion jockey line-up before the race.

Above:  Sweet Reason, who would run a determined second.

Above/below:  Sweet Reason couldn't wait for the race to get underway.

Above:  Untapable, left, overtakes Cassatt and Jojo Warrior as they enter the PARX homestretch.

Above:  Untapable and Rosie Napravnik winning the Cotillion....

...and heading into the winner's circle, above, with Scott Blasi at left and Ron Winchell at right.

Above:  Steve Asmussen enjoys the moment.

Above/below:  Fan favorite California Chrome before the Pennsylvania Derby (I'm posting more photos of him than other horses in this blog, simply because so many people are fans).

Above:  Tapiture, Rosie Napravnik up and Carlos Rosas on pony.  Tapiture ran second.

Above:  Noble Moon, who dead-heated for fourth, is an unusually handsome colt.

Above:  Victor Espinoza, on California Chrome, checking out Bayern soon after the PA Derby start.

Above/below:  First time past the wire, California Chrome was down on the rail.

Above:  The backstretch of the Pennsylvania Derby.

Above:  Bayern headed homeward with the lead....

...while California Chrome, above, struggled.

Above:  Bayern on his way to the win.  Tapiture was second, Candy Boy a close third, and Noble Moon and C J's Awesome dead-heated for fourth.  California Chrome faded to sixth.

Above:  Congratulations to the very impressive Bayern, here in the winner's circle...

...and to Martin Garcia....

...and to owner Kaleem Shah, a lifelong racing fan and very upbeat winner.  You have to enjoy someone who is so joyous about winning - truly contagious! (Bob Baffert wasn't in attendance...but congrats to Bob, as well!)

Above/below:  California Chrome after the race.  Looking forward to seeing him again soon.

Above:  2014 Pennsylvania Derby winner BAYERN with his attentive groom Roberto Luna after the race.  

Above:  On the way out, we visited with HORSE AT WATER, a remarkable, oversized statue that was imported to PARX from England... a beautiful sight after a great day of racing.

Video of the 2014 Cotillion (Untapable): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9tmZPEVq8g

Video of the 2014 Pennsylvania Derby (Bayern): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9YW_IeEKYk

2012 article about the Horse at Water sculpture:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/08/25/giant-horse-head-lands-on-parx-casinos-front-lawn/

To learn more about Kaleem Shah, this is an informative and interesting article from 2012 by Jay Hovdey:  http://www.drf.com/news/owner-kaleem-shah-racing-blood

With thanks to the very kind and helpful people at PARX, including our good friend Kim Pratt.   And, in addition to Kim, thanks also to photographers Michael Amoruso, Justin N. Lane, Debra A. Roma and Tom Keyser. (below, the DRF photo team poses with Horse at Water, giving a better idea of the immense scale of the sculpture).