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Sweet Lou Monaco takes a look at the Grade 1 Cotillion stakes at Parx

The first of back-to-back Grade 1, $1 million-dollar races at Parx Racing takes place in Race 10 with 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles in the 16th running of the Cotillion Stakes.

The field of 11, which has seven graded stakes winners entered, is shaping up as one of the best races in the 3-year-old filly ranks this year, and will give the winner an automatic berth into the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff the first weekend in November at Santa Anita.

Post time is scheduled for 5:14 p.m. ET.

#1, Serengeti Empress, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 7-2

The second choice on the money line with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard is 2-2-0 in five starts this year for trainer Tom Amoss. She gets another shot today at morning-line favorite Guarana, who beat her soundly by six lengths after setting a wicked pace two starts back to finish runner-up in the G1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park on June 8. The Kentucky Oaks winner at Churchill Downs back on May 3 finished second again, just a half-length back to Covefe, in her last start in the G1 Longines Test Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 3. Missing her last start, Irad is back in the saddle again taking over for brother Jose Ortiz, who will be riding Guarana. I think Irad will learn from his last ride and save some energy for the end in her rematch with Guarana. The pick.

#8, Guarana, Jose Ortiz, 9-5

The morning-line favorite is 3-for-3, including back-to-back G1 wins in the Acorn at Belmont and the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga, in her career for trainer Chad Brown and has Jose Ortiz back on the mount for his fourth straight start. Very tough not to pick, but taking a shot with the brother. Runner-up.  

VIDEO: Check out Megan Devine's in-depth look at the Pennsylvania Derby at Parx on Saturday. 

#6, Horologist, Luis Saez, 15-1

The live longshot contender at 15-1, Horologist and won four straight races, including her last three at Monmouth Park, highlighted by the G3 Monmouth Oaks on August 17, where she won by three-quarters of a length over another horse in today’s field, Jaywalk. Trainer John Mazza has put Luis Saez aboard to try and pull off the upset. Contender.

#3, Street Band, Sophie Doyle, 8-1

Street Band, who is 3-0-1 in six starts for trainer Larry Jones, cuts back in her third start after a layoff. After a 3 ½-length win in the G3 Indiana Oaks at Indiana Grand on July 13, battled down the stretch just missing out on a second-place finish by a nose in the G1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 17. Doyle will position herself well at the top of the stretch and we will she just how battle-tested she is. In the mix.

PICKS: 1-8-6-3

Lou Monaco


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