06/15/2012 12:08PM

Parx: Perfect Officer, Bridgetown exit tough company for Parx Dash

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Barbara D. Livingston
Bridgetown comes off a second in the Grade 3 Turf Dash on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs

Perfect Officer and Bridgetown, each coming off a good effort in separate Grade 3 races that produced multiple next-out winners, meet in Sunday’s $150,000 Parx Dash Handicap, a five-furlong sprint on turf.

The 6-year-old Perfect Officer rallied to get up by a nose in the Grade 3 Shakertown at Keeneland two months ago. The horses who finished fourth, fifth, and sixth all returned to win next time out, including Great Attack in the Grade 3 Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard.

Bridgetown, who trains at Saratoga for trainer Todd Pletcher, surrendered a 2 1/2-length lead in deep stretch of the Turf Sprint as the 3-2 favorite. His second-place finish still looks good, however, since seventh-place Stormy Going and ninth-place Santo Gato both came back to win their next start.

Perfect Officer, trained by Tony Dutrow, has the advantage of two good efforts over the Parx turf course. He outran his 11-1 odds to finish second in the Grade 3 Turf Monster last September and was third by a head in a blanket finish of a five-furlong allowance last May.

Multiple stakes winner Ben’s Cat will attempt to regroup after a pair of off-the-board finishes as the favorite. He was a troubled sixth in a high-priced optional claimer and a distant fifth of 10 in the $100,000 Turf Sprint at Pimlico on the Black-Eyed Susan undercard.

In two previous trips to Parx, Ben’s Cat beat Perfect Officer by a half-length in the Turf Monster and rallied from seventh to miss by a head in last year’s Parx Dash.

Among the other contenders in the nine-horse lineup, Cactus Son could be ready to wake up making the third start of his form cycle while adding blinkers for the first time since he was a maiden in 2010. Most recently, Cactus Son split horses to get third, two lengths behind Bridgetown, on May 5 and rallied late to finish fourth, a neck ahead of Ben’s Cat, at Pimlico.

Super Chunky outran Bridgetown and Cactus Son a month ago, despite bobbling at the start. No worse than second in 8 of 14 starts on the grass, the 6-year-old Super Chunky won his only previous start on Parx’s turf course in September 2010.

Ju Jitsu Jax, equally dangerous on turf or dirt, would be coming back just a week after finishing fourth in the John McSorley, a 5 1/2-furlong grass sprint at Monmouth Park.