Handsome Mike wins the Penn Derby

BY foxsports • September 22, 2012

Long shot Handsome Mike won the $1 million, Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby, and My Miss Aurelia took the $1 million Cotillion Stakes on Saturday at Parx Racing.

Ridden by Irad Oriz Jr., Handsome Mike beat West Virginia Derby winner Macho Macho by two lengths in the race for 3-year-olds, running 1-1/8 miles in 1 minute, 51.63 seconds for his second career victory.

Handsome Mike paid $40.40 to win. Golden Ticket was third.

Golden Ticket faced Alpha in each horse's first race since their dead heat in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. The rematch fizzled, however, as the favored Alpha faded to sixth after dueling with Handsome Mike early.

In the Cotillion, My Miss Aurelia remained undefeated in six career starts, beating Questing by a head after a prolonged stretch duel.

Ridden by Cory Nakatani, My Miss Aurelia — the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner last year — ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.54 and paid $5.60to win.

My Miss Aurelia carried 117 pounds, while Questing shouldered 124 pounds after her victory last month in the $1 million Alabama Stakes at Saratoga.

Dixie Strike was third, and Moment in Dixie last in the four-horse field in the first Grade I run at Parx.

Following the trophy presentation, Nakatani said the race went as he and trainer Steve Asmussen planned.

''Our plan was to go ahead, let her do her thing and get her in a high position on the back side," the jockey said. "We wanted to save our best for last. That's what we did today.''

When asked about the possibility of Miss Aurelia running in next month's Breeders Cup Ladies Classic at Santa Anita, Asmussen said, ''We'll see how she comes out of this race.''