Drawing away to win the nine furlong, newly minted G1 Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 23, West Coast made a strong claim to be the 3-year-old Eclipse Champion, having now won five straight races, including the Travers.
With Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, Preakness winner Cloud Computing and Belmont winner Tapwrit all sidelined for the rest of the year, West Coast now dominates the division.
Owned by Gary and Mary West, trained by Bob Baffert, ridden by Mike Smith, West Coast sat second to the outside of Outplay down the backstretch but passed the tiring Outplay and opened up a wide lead to win by 7 1/4 lengths over Irap, with Giuseppe the Great a length further back in third.
"This horse is just getting better and better," said Baffert. "We thought he would run a big race, and he was calm in the paddock. He is just a big boy. It was nice he way he ran. He did it pretty easily."
"I FELT real good on the first turn," said Baffert."Mike had him in a good position, kept him on the outside. I told him, don't go near the rail. At the 3/8ths pole, he had a lot of horse, and I was afraid he was going to get a little bored out there. He's just learning how to run, and to have a 3-year-old this time of year and the way he won the Travers and nowwinning this race, he's going to be a horse to reckon with."
Now headed for the Breeders Cup, Nov. 3-4, West Coast could give Baffert his eighth 3-year-old champion male and third in a row following Arrogate in 2016 and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in 2015.
IT TIZ WELL upset multiple G! winner Abel Tasman in the $1 million G1 Cotillion on the same card.
The victory was the first G1 victory for the daughter of Arch, who is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and was ridden by Drayden Van Dyke.
It Tiz Well had previously won the G3 Delaware Oaks on July 8 and the G3 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park on March 11.
PAGE McKENNEY, the Pa-bred 7-year-old who just refuses to lose, wowed the crowd again with a heart pouding win in the $150,000 PA Derby Champion Stakes.
Rallying from just off the pace on the final turn, Page McKenney, with his signature grit and determination, put away front runner Matt King Cole and held off late runnning Just Call Kenny to win by a hard fought neck.
Owned by Adam Staple & Jalin Racing Stable, trained by Mary Eppler and ridden by his regular jockey Horacio Karamanos, It was Page McKenney's 20th win of his career, the sixth of seven starts at Parx and raised his lifetime earnings to just over #1.75 million.
StarLadies Racing's FIRSTHAND REPORT, a 4-year-old Blame filly, tackled the boys in the $100,000 Alphabet Soup Stakes, at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, and held off a late sure by Barn James Bern to win by a nose.
The Matz family had a very successful couple of weeks, starting with Dorothy (D.D.) Matz' homebred LADIES' PRIVILEGE winning the $100,000 Hall of Fame Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the turf at Parx on Sept. 16.
Trained by Michael Matz and ridden by Edwin Gonzalez, Ladies' Privilege scored her second victory and first stakes win, increasing her lifetime earnings to just over $100,000.
TEQUILITA, a 3-year-ol daughter of Union Rags, is also a D.D. Matz homebred trained by Michael, and she won the G3, $300,00, 7 furlong Charles Town Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.
Tequilita broke out and made contact with Chane's Legacy at the start and then settled off the pace, starting a bid approaching the 3/8ths pole, moving steadily forward to take the lead three wide entering the stretch.
She raced clear at the eighth pole and won by 1 1/4 lengths despite her saddle slipping back.Tequilita has now won twice, finished second one and third once from five starts and has eearned $402140.
Then on Oct. 5, Michael Matz saddled Alexander Groves Matz' ANALYZE to win the $50,000 Winter Melody Stakes, 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-old fand up fillies and mares at Delaware Park.
Ridden by Alex Cintron, Analyze won by 1 3/4 lengths.
Union Rags had another winner in BIG BEND, who won the $350,000 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 10.
Owned by Union Rags Racing LLC, trained by Thomas Proctor and ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Big Bend won the 1 1/16 mile race by a head.
Big Bend went straight to the lead but was locked into a long duel in the stretch, but he dug in and held off a strong bid by Anderson Stable's Parlor, ridden by Julien Laparoux.
Maryland-bred RENAISSANCE ROSIE, owned by Robert l. Cole, Jr., and trained by Amy Albright, just held off Buttonwood Farm's ROSE TREE, trained by Jonathan Sheppard, by a short neck to win a $32,284 Allowance race at Penn National on Sept. 23.
Presque Isle Downs held three stakes in mid-September, with Ivan Dalos' AMI'S MESA, trained by Josie Carroll and ridden by Luis Contraros, winning the G2, 6 1/2 furlong Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes for fillies and mares, 3-year-old and up, by a length.
On Sept. 17, GIGANTIC BREEZE, owned by Hopefield Farm, trained by Alexander McPheron and ridden by Mario Pina, won the Presque Isle Mile Stakes for 3-year-old and up by four lengths, and Muirfield Farm and Tim Girten's STARDOZA, trained by Girten and ridden by pablo Morales, won the Mrs. Henry D, Paxon Memorial Stakes for 2-year-old Pa-breds at six furlongs by 1 3/4 lengths.