Math Wizard bags Pennsylvania Derby title

Sunday September 22 2019

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione rides War of Will #8 to win the 144th Running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. PHOTO | ROB CARR | AFP


A claimer, then graded placer, to now top of the crop, Math Wizard (Iraz Ortez Junior), necked out Mister Money (Gabriel Saez 5-4), in a time point of 1:50:4/10 secs, for 1.1/8 miles.

He emerged from well off a slow pace to crunch Mister Money being held tightly to bag the Parx Pennsylvania Derby.

Shanghai Superfly (Fred Pennington 30-1), was already spent up the back stretch, while a more superior battle ensued near the line.


Unfortunately, Maximum Security declined to run due to a colic earlier this week, allowing Iraz Ortez to be gifted with a winning ride.

War of Will (Tom Gaffalione 4-1), ran third with Improbable (Mike Smith), just behind.


Improbable could have fared better had he not balked at the gates, rearing up to nearly throw Mike Smith down.

Bob Baffert said Improbable heard a noise which caused him to be fractious in the stalls. He had to be re-loaded, then lost momentum.

Trainer, Saffie Joseph, said Math Wizard has only become a good horse, suddenly.


He is the chestnut son of Algorithms, bred in Kentucky. Part owner, John Fanelli will now decide if Math Wizard can cope with the Breeders' Cup.

But let us not get carried away. We are not talking about the Logician and Enable Brigade. They are super special.

Also on the program at Parx, was an exhilarating scoop for Sophie Doyle, achieving her premier success on Street Band in the Cotillion Stakes.

The pair had 2.4 lengths to spare over Guarana, in a 1.5 mile fillies contest.

Sophie sat at the back before making a solid move to rip off opponents from the halfway juncture. Street Band qualifies for the Breeders' Distaff, which she will gladly accept.


Remember the English former football hero, Michael Owen. He has been owning and training, for many years since retirement.

He was shouting himself hoarse up in Scotland when his Angel Alexander scored at 28-1, from Growl, in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup.

After tumultuous celebrations in the winner's enclosure, Michael admitted: "It was one of those afternoons just for enjoyment, without any expectations. My buzz started in the last 100 yards. This is what racing is all about!" Buffer Zone ran flat, in a field of many contenders.