Parx Racing hosted two of its stakes for Pennsylvania-breds on Saturday, the $75,000 Power by Far Handicap, a five furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares three and up and the $75,000 Crowd Pleaser Handicap, a one mile and one-sixteenth turf test for three year-olds. Madrilena held on for a dramatic win in the Power by Far while Big Feat, a winner at 47-1 last time out in his maiden breaker, surprised again at 15-1, going wire to wire to win the Crowd Pleaser.
The Power by Far Handicap went to Smart Angle’s Madrilena. The six year-old Stormy Atlantic mare got a great break from the gate and was immediately in front. She quickly sprinted clear through the opening furlong and led by two lengths after a first quarter in 22.15. Heading to the far turn, long shot Fear the Facelift had closed that gap down to a length, but just past the three-eighths, Madrilena again moved away by two and as Fear the Facelift dropped back, the unbeaten Chulula had moved to pick up the chase on the outside. Turning for home, Chulula didn’t corner well and that left Madrilena with a three length lead with just a furlong to go. Chulula, however, would go down swinging. From the eighth pole home, Madrilena was desperately trying to last and Chulula was gaining steadily in the middle of the course. The two came under the wire bobbing heads and it was Madrilena whose nose was down, holding on for a dramatic win. Trained by Mike Pino and ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, Madrilena went off as the 9-5 favorite and paid $5.80 to win. The final time for the about five furlongs on a course labeled firm was :58.80.
Big Feat pulled off a stunner in the Crowd Pleaser. In a race that seemed to have little front running speed, Big Feat made his way to the early lead and never gave it up, edging away late to win by a solid length and a half. Leading by three-quarters of a length through an opening quarter of :25.01, Big Feat headed to the backstretch stalked on the outside by Jump for Kitten with A Fleet Attitude beautifully covered up at the inside racing a close third. Things were unchanged to the far turn when everyone started to get busy. Winning jockey Josean Ramirez asked Big Feat to quicken. Jump for Kitten tried to close the gap. A Fleet Attitude looked for inside running room and the 2-1 favorite Fessed Up tried to get involved with a three wide run from off the pace. Big Feat would not surrender. Holding them all at bay, the gelded son of Mutakddim gamely strode for the wire, winning the first stake of his young career. Owned by Ellendale Racing and trained by Elizabeth Merryman, he went off at 15-1 and paid 32.80 to win finishing the about one mile and one-sixteenth in 1:48.65.