Pennsylvania Derby

The Pennsylvania Derby is a race for thoroughbred horses run at Parx Racing and Casino (formerly known as Keystone Race Track, then from 1986 through 2010 as Philadelphia Park) each year. The track's premiere event is open to horses, age three, willing to race 1.125 miles (1.811 km) (9 furlongs) on the dirt and since 2007 normally offers a purse of $1 million.[3][1]

Pennsylvania Derby
Grade I race
LocationParx Racing and Casino
Bensalem, Pennsylvania
Race typeThoroughbred - Flat racing
Race information
Distance1.125 miles (1.811 km) (9 furlongs)
Weight122 lbs. (55.3 kg)
Purse$1 million (2019)[1]
Bonuses$50,000 to owner and trainer for entering horses who have won specified races[2]

In 2016, the purse was increased to $1.25 million because of the presence of the winners of two of the three Triple Crown races: Nyquist, winner of the 2016 Kentucky Derby, and Exaggerator, winner of the 2016 Preakness Stakes. If Creator, winner of the 2016 Belmont, had also raced, the purse would have been $1.5 million.[4]

The Pennsylvania Derby began on Memorial Day in 1979 and achieved Graded status in 1981. From 1990 until 2009, with the exception of 2006 due to extensive renovations, the race was held on Labor Day; in 2004, it was elevated to a Grade II event. Starting in 2010, the race moved to the last Saturday of September in an attempt to get a stronger field preparing for the Breeders' Cup; the move to late September also made it possible to move away from another premier event, the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in New York State. In 2017 it was raised to Grade I status for the first time.

In 1991 Andrea Seefeldt became the first female jockey to win the Pennsylvania Derby[5] and the following year Pam Shavelson became the first female trainer to win the race.[6]


Time record:

Largest winning margin:

  • Western Playboy - 17 lengths.

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:


2018 McKinzie 3 Mike Smith Bob Baffert Karl Watson, M. E. Pegram, Paul Weitman I 1:52.05
2017 West Coast 3 Mike Smith Bob Baffert Gary and Mary West I 1:49.91
2016 Connect 3 Javier Castellano Chad C. Brown Paul P. Pompa II 1:50.20
2015 Frosted 3 Joel Rosario Kiaran McLaughlin Godolphin Racing II 1:50.04
2014 Bayern 3 Martin Garcia Bob Baffert Kaleem Shah II 1:46.96 *
2013 Will Take Charge 3 Luis Saez D. Wayne Lukas Willis D. Horton II 1:49.28
2012 Handsome Mike 3 Irad Ortiz, Jr Leandro Mora J. Paul Reddam II 1:51.63
2011 To Honor and Serve 3 Jose Lezcano William Mott Live Oak Plantation II 1:47.34
2010 Morning Line 3 John Velazquez Nick Zito Thoroughbred Legends Racing II 1:47.85
2009 Gone Astray 3 Eddie Castro Shug McGaughey Phipps Stable II 1:48.27
2008 Anak Nakal 3 Joe Bravo Nick Zito Four Roses Thoroughbreds II 1:48.99
2007 Timber Reserve 3 Javier Castellano John C. Kimmel Circle E Racing et al. II 1:47.67
2006 No race -
2005 Sun King 3 Rafael Bejarano Nick Zito Tracy Farmer II 1:49.43
2004 Love of Money 3 Robby Albarado Richard E. Dutrow, Jr. Jay Em Ess Stable II 1:48.42
2003 Grande Hombre 3 Joe Bravo Dennis Manning Earle I. Mack III 1:49.03
2002 Harlan's Holiday 3 Edgar Prado Todd Pletcher Starlight Stables III 1:51.10
2001 Macho Uno 3 Gary Stevens Joe Orseno Stronach Stables III 1:49.03
2000 Pine Dance 3 Mike McCarthy Dermot Weld George Hofmeister III 1:49.03
1999 Smart Guy 3 Robert Colton Timothy Ritchey Goodfellas Stable III 1:49.40
1998 Rock and Roll 3 Heberto Castillo, Jr. William Mott M. Paulson & J. Craig III 1:47.69
1997 Frisk Me Now 3 Edwin L. King, Jr. Robert J. Durso Carol R. Dender III 1:48.14
1996 Devil's Honor 3 Tony Black Walter C. Reese Noreen Carpenito III 1:48.58
1995 Pineing Patty 3 Larry Melancon Lynn S. Whiting W. Cal Partee II 1:48.05
1994 Meadow Flight 3 Joe Bravo James Ryerson Aliyuee Ben J Stables II 1:49.08
1993 Wallenda 3 Herb McCauley Frank A. Alexander Dogwood Stable II 1:49.33
1992 Thelastcrusade 3 Victor Molina Pam Shavelson Petrified Stable II 1:49.47
1991 Valley Crossing 3 Andrea Seefeldt Richard W. Small Robert E. Meyerhoff II 1:50.00
1990 Summer Squall 3 Pat Day Neil J. Howard Dogwood Stable II 1:48.20
1989 Western Playboy 3 Kerwin Clark Harvey L. Vanier N. A. Vanier/Script R Farm II 1:47.60
1988 Cefis 3 Larry Saumell Woody Stephens Ryehill Farm II 1:49.60
1987 Afleet 3 Gary Stahlbaum Phil England Taylor Made Farm II 1:48.20
1986 Broad Brush 3 Angel Cordero, Jr. Richard W. Small Robert E. Meyerhoff II 1:50.80
1985 Skip Trial 3 Jean-Luc Samyn Sonny Hine Zelda Cohen II 1:50.20
1984 Morning Bob 3 Greg McCarron Woody Stephens Brushwood Stable II 1:49.40
1983 Dixieland Band 3 William J. Passmore Charles Peoples Mary Sharp II 1:49.40
1982 Spanish Drums 3 Jacinto Vasquez Anthony Arcodia Anthony Drakas III 1:49.00
1981 Summing 3 George Martens Luis S. Barrera Charles T. Wilson Jr. III 1:49.00
1980 Lively King 3 Chris Baker Leon A. Parker Jr. Frank A. Bonsal Jr. 1:48.80
1979 Smarten 3 Sam Maple Woody Stephens Ryehill Farm 1:49.20


  1. ^ a b "Pennsylvania Derby Stakes Profile". Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Chart of 2016 Pennsylvania Derby". Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  3. ^ Stakes Histories, The Original Racing Almanac 2009, page 284-285 on June 26, 2008.
  4. ^ "Pennsylvania Derby Purse Increase Offered To Lure 2016 Triple Crown Winners - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report". Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Lady Legends riding into Pimlico sunset". Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Pa. Derby Winner Keeps His Streak Alive". Retrieved 24 September 2016.