09/12/2013 3:26PM

Parx Racing: Swift Warrior holds class edge in PTHA President's Cup

John Duca/Tom Cooley
Swift Warrior, seen winning the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes in February, has not raced since July 28.

Swift Warrior, a two-time Grade 3 stakes winner early this season who was beaten less than a length in a Grade 2 event two starts back, appears to hold a distinct class advantage in Saturday’s $250,000 Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association President’s Cup at Parx Racing.

The President’s Cup, scheduled for 1 1/8 miles on turf, goes as race 11 on a 12-race card and drew a field of 12 older males, including a coupled entry.

In the first two starts of his 5-year-old campaign, Swift Warrior won the John Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston and the Tampa Bay Stakes, both Grade 3 events. He then was given three months off to prepare for a spring-summer campaign. In the best of his three subsequent starts, Swift Warrior surrendered a 3 1/2-length lead in the final furlong and had to settle for third, beaten three-quarters of a length, in the Grade 2 Colonial Turf Cup at 1 3/16 miles.

Based in New York with trainer John Terranova, Swift Warrior will be making his first start since finishing a dull sixth as the 5-2 favorite in the Grade 3 Oceanport at Monmouth Park on July 28. The last two times he returned from similar layoffs, Swift Warrior won a restricted stakes at Saratoga and the Connally in January.

Like Swift Warrior, Change of Command comes out of the Oceanport, where he finished fourth, 1 1/4 lengths in front of the beaten favorite. Change of Command’s 3-for-7 record this season includes a win in the one-mile Elkwood Stakes at Monmouth.

General Logan, beaten two lengths by Swift Warrior in the Colonial Turf Cup, returns to turf and adds blinkers after an off-the-board finish on the Tapeta synthetic surface at Presque Isle Downs.

Shug McGaughey brings in Reflecting from New York following a third-place finish going 1 3/16 miles in a high-priced optional claimer at Saratoga. He won going 1 1/2 miles at Keeneland this past spring.

Unbroken gets a major rider shift to Kendrick Carmouche and cuts back to a distance at which he has run well in the past after just missing in the 1 1/2-mile Cape Henlopen at Delaware Park. As a 3-year-old last season, Unbroken was a close second in the 1 1/8-mile Restoration.

Hampstead Heath would have been a contender, but his owner, Rob Smithen, has chosen to keep the 4-year-old gelding home at Woodbine for Sunday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Northern Dancer at 1 1/2 miles.