Updated on 09/22/2016 4:33PM

Gallant Bob draws ‘em from all over

Coady Photography
Noholdingback Bear, winning the Tom Ridge at Presque Isle Downs in May, ships in from Woodbine for the Gallant Bob Stakes on Saturday.

The quality at Parx Racing on Saturday runs deeper than the headliners, the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby and Grade 1 Cotillion. The Gallant Bob, a $300,000 sprint for 3-year-olds, has come up amazingly strong this year, drawing runners from Canada and the West Coast.

The card also includes the $150,000 Pennsylvania Derby Championship, which is named after Frosted this year, and the $100,000 Alphabet Soup, a turf race for statebreds. A pick four on races 8 to 11 includes all of the stakes except the Alphabet Soup.

The Grade 3 Gallant Bob has drawn a field of 12. The six-furlong race could play out many ways, with favoritism likely going to either Noholdingback Bear, who is based at Woodbine with Michael De Paulo, or Threefiveindia, based at Belmont with Chad Brown.

Noholdingback Bear and Threefiveindia each made their last start at Saratoga on Travers Day, Aug. 27. Noholdingback Bear finished third in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds, while Threefiveindia, who was making his first start since being transferred to Brown’s barn, won a second-level optional-claiming race at 6 1/2 furlongs.

:: PENNSYLVANIA DERBY: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live

Although the King’s Bishop is obviously the more prestigious race, Threefiveindia may have turned in the better performance. He cut out fractions of 22.52 and 45.29 seconds and then covered his last sixteenth in 6.28 seconds en route to a 2 1/4-length victory in 1:15.22.

By comparison, the two seven-furlong stakes for older horses that day, the Forego and Ballerina, had slower early splits. The Forego fractions were 22.83 and 45.35, and the Ballerina went in 23.39 and 45.54.

In the King’s Bishop, Noholdingback Bear attended a moderate early pace of 23.11 and 45.85 with eventual winner Drefong, who then finished well to win by 3 1/4 lengths. Noholdingback Bear was nipped for second by a half-length by Economic Model.

Threefiveindia earned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure, Noholdingback Bear a 97.

Brown said Threefiveindia, who will break from post 2, has trained well since his August victory.

“Looks like a solid dirt sprinter that is ready for a stakes race,” Brown said. “Inside draw concerns me a bit here in a big field. He had a beautiful draw last time in the clear, so that will be a challenge, but the horse is training exceptionally well right now.”

The California-based runners are Navy Hymn, trained by Richard Baltas, and Who’s Out, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer.

Navy Hymn, a $40,000 claim in May, enters off a second-level optional-claiming victory at Del Mar with a 98 Beyer.

Who’s Out, who will start from post 12, weakened to finish sixth as the 6-5 favorite in the one-mile Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar.

“It’s kind of a puzzle,” Hollendorfer said. “I don’t know why he didn’t run better. Perhaps he didn’t like the track. He drew the outside post [for Saturday], and for him, I think that’s a little better than an inside post.”

Awesome Speed, trained by Alan Goldberg, will be making his first start since finishing ninth in the Preakness. Although his last four starts have been at a mile or longer, he did win the six-furlong James F. Lewis III Stakes at Laurel Park last November.

Frosted Stakes: Anyone’s race

The Pennsylvania Championship, or Frosted Stakes, is a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up that is named in honor of last year’s Pennsylvania Derby winner.

The field of seven for the wide-open race includes Encryption, who won this race a year ago when it was named the Bayern; Mr. Jordan, who was second in the Grade 3 Iselin at Monmouth Park last out; and Tale of Life, who enters off a victory at 1 1/8 miles in an optional claimer at Saratoga.

Hollendorfer will send out Cyrus Alexander, who won the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap in late May. He finished second last out in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile.

“I think the boy had to move a little earlier than he wanted, and I think that cost Cyrus Alexander his chance to win,” Hollendorfer said of the Longacres Mile. “We really like him. Especially, I like him as a racehorse. I expect him to run very well.”

Res Judicata, trained by John Servis, finished second at Parx in the statebred Roanoke Stakes in his most recent start. Res Judicata does his best running on the front end but didn’t make the lead in that race. Look for jockey Javier Castellano to send him from the gate Saturday.

◗ Uncle Dave, trained locally Marcos Zulueta, moves back to statebred company in the Alphabet Soup, a 1 1/16-mile turf race that he won last year. He likely will be favored after being second in the $200,000 President’s Cup at Parx in early August.

Granny’s Kitten, trained by Mike Maker, also is a top contender. He most recently finished third in the $100,000 Robellino Stakes for statebreds at Penn National.

– additional reportingby David Grening

A previous version of this article misstated a fractional distance in relation to time in Threefiveindia's most recent race. His last sixteenth of a mile was timed in 6.28 seconds, not his final eighth.