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Taiba, Cyberknife Renew Rivalry in the Grade I Pennsylvania Derby

Taiba and Cyberknife meet in the Grade I $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on Saturday. The 1⅛-mile test features 11 horses, including six who competed in the Kentucky Derby and two others with significant graded stakes experience.

Taiba is the 5-2 morning-line favorite with Cyberknife 3-1 in the horse racing odds. The undercard highlights the $1 million Grade I Cotillion Stakes for 3-year-old filles at 1 1/16 miles.

Cyberknife | Andy lyons/getty images/afp
Cyberknife | Andy lyons/getty images/afp

As well explore a variety of other horse racing odds here to win!

Cyberknife Won First Meeting by a Head in the Haskell

Taiba, trained by Bob Baffert, makes his fifth career start. The $1.7 million purchase and son of Gun Runner moved off the rail down the backstretch in the Haskell and wound up four-wide on the final turn.

Cyberknife, meanwhile, took Taiba’s spot on the rail and saved ground before outkicking Taiba to win by a head.

“Cyberknife is a tough horse,” Baffert told Bloodhorse. “They are all good horses in here. Million-dollar races are not easy … We had a little bit of a rough trip in the last one (Haskell). I know he is doing well and we are all set.”

Taiba was 2-for-2 entering the Kentucky Derby, where he finished 12th as the 5-1 second choice when betting online.

Cyberknife, the only two-time Grade I winner in the field, was second in the Travers behind likely 3-year-old champion Epicenter in his last start. The $400,000 Gun Runner colt is 2-for-3 since finishing 18th in the Kentucky Derby at 14-1, and is 2-for-2 at 1⅛ miles.

Cyberknife is trained by two-time reigning Eclipse Award winner Brad Cox and will be joined in the starting gate by stablemate Tawny Port, the fourth choice at 6-1.

Tawny Port was seventh in the Kentucky Derby at 80-1 and comes off a reputable third-place finish in the Jim Dandy, which Epicenter won.

“We’ve pointed Tawny Port for this race since the Jim Dandy,’’ Cox told Bloodhorse. “Everything is going great with him. Once again, he’s got to step up to prove that he belongs at this level. … This is one last swing at Grade 1 around two turns for straight 3-year-olds.”

Zandon hasn’t been able to validate his Blue Grass victory in April. He was third in the Kentucky Derby at 6-1, second in the Jim Dandy and third in the Travers, a nose behind Cyberknife.

The other two entrants in the Pennsylvania Derby who ran in the Kentucky Derby are Simplification, fourth at 35-1; and White Abarrio, 16th at 15-1. White Abarrio was second to Tawny Port in the Ohio Derby and finished 34¼ lengths behind Cyberknife in the Haskell.

A longshot to consider is We the People, who could forget to stop if left alone on an easy lead. However, We the People’s two 100 or higher Beyers – a probable prerequisite to winning the Pennsylvania Derby – came on a less than fast track.+

Check out our expert picks and latest horse racing odds and place your bets now.

Pennsylvania Derby Field

Post, Horse, Odds, Jockey, Trainer

  1. Zandon, 5-1, Joel Rosario, Chad Brown
  2. Icy Storm, 30-1, Jeremy Laprida, Felix Flores-Coba
  3. B Dawk, 20-1, Frankie Pennington, Doug O’Neill
  4. Skippylongstocking, 10-1, Edwin Gonzalez, Saffie Joseph Jr.
  5. Cyberknife, 5-2, Geroux, Cox
  6. We the People, 12-1, Flavien Prat, Rodolphe Brisset
  7. Tawny Port, 6-1, Irad Ortiz Jr., Cox
  8. Taiba, 5-2, Mike Smith, Bob Baffert
  9. Simplification, 10-1, Paco Lopez, Antonio Sano
  10. Naval Aviator, 20-1, Abner Adorno, Ernesto Padilla-Preciado
  11. White Abarrio, 8-1, Luis Saez, Joseph

Secret Oath Favored in Cotillion, But Stiff Competition Awaits

Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath (2-1), trained by D. Wayne Lukas, is favored to win the Cotillion Stakes, but faces stiff competition.

Among her eight rivals is the Baffert-trained Adare Manor (7-2), who hasn’t raced since finishing second in the Black-Eyed Susan in May. Secret Oath was fourth in the Preakness the next day. Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, a former Lukas assistant, has three in the Cotillion with Green Up (6-1), Goddess of Fire (5-1) and Shahama (8-1) all capable of upsetting with their A game.

Gerrymander (8-1), trained by Brown and ridden by Rosario, could surprise at a price. Gerrymander’s best race came at 1 1/16 miles in winning the Mother Goose at Belmont in June. The Cotillion is scheduled to go off at 5:20 p.m. ET on FanDuel TV. Check the racebook before the Cotillion for daily double problems involving the Pennsylvania Derby.

Pennsylvania Derby Race Information

  • Race: Pennsylvania Derby
  • Location: Parx Racing
  • Day/Post Time: Saturday, Sept. 24, 6:10 p.m. ET (Race 12)
  • Horse Racing Stream: TVG

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