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Pennsylvania Derby Odds and Predictions

Pennsylvania Derby

The last major race for 3-year olds before the Breeders’ Cup next month is Saturday’s Pennsylvania Derby. McKinzie, the stablemate of Triple Crown winner Justify, is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Hofburg, who finished third in the Belmont Stakes is listed as the 3-1 second choice. The only other horses listed at single-digit odds are Axelrod at odds of 5-1 and Bravazo at odds of 6-1. Let’s look at Saturday’s Pennsylvania Derby and horse racing predictions.

Bet Horse Racing Odds at

Pennsylvania Derby

PP Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 First Mondays F. Pennington J. Servis 15-1
2 Hofburg I. Ortiz Jr. B. Mott 3-1
3 Instilled Regard J. Ortiz C. Brown 15-1
4 King Zachary C. Lanerie D. Romans 20-1
5 Core Beliefs J. Talamo P. Eurton 10-1
6 Axelrod J. Bravo M. McCarthy 5-1
7 Mr Freeze R. Albarado D. Romans 12-1
8 McKinzie M. Smith B. Baffert 5-2
9 Trigger Warning I. Rosendo M. Rone 20-1
10 Bravazo L. Saez W. Lukas 6-1


There is no question that the favorite in this race on Saturday should be McKinzie for trainer Bob Baffert. The horse has three wins in four starts and easily could have been the favorite in the Kentucky Derby had he made that race. The horse suffered an injury following the San Felipe but is said to be at full strength and training well for his return.

Other Contenders

The other three horses that are expected to challenge McKinzie are Hofburg, Axelrod and Bravazo. Hofburg will ship in from Saratoga for this race for trainer Bill Mott. The horse finished third in the Belmont and he was just 3.5 lengths behind Triple Crown winner Justify. Mott won the Pennsylvania Derby in 1998 with Rock and Roll and also won in 2011 with To Honor and Serve.

Axelrod looked good in winning the Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes last month at Parx. The horse will be looking to win this third straight race, as he also won the Indiana Derby in July.

Bravazo is coming off a third place finish in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. That finish follows up a runner-up finish to Good Magic in the Grade 1 Haskell. The horse competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown and finished 6th, 2nd and 6th. Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas won the 2013 Pennsylvania Derby with Will Take Charge.


A couple of longshots worth a look are King Zachary and Instilled Regard. King Zachary for trainer Dale Romans won the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes and he was fourth in the Travers.

Instilled Regard will be shipping from Belmont Park but this will be his first race since his fourth place finish in the Kentucky Derby. Instilled Regard will be trained by Chad Brown, as he is being transferred to the East Coast from trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Instilled Regard won the Lecomte Stakes earlier this year against a field of 12 horses.

Horse Racing Betting Picks

Pennsylvania Derby Predictions

I would like to find a reason to take one of the horses listed at double-digit odds, but it is hard to go against the favorite in this race. McKinzie simply looks like the class of this race and it would not be a surprise to see the horse go off at odds of 2-1. The main challengers in this race, Hofburg and Bravazo simply don’t win enough of their races to be considered in the same realm as McKinzie. If Baffert has this horse ready to go it should be a convincing win for McKinzie on Saturday. If you are looking for a horse that could surprise at a big price then perhaps Instilled Regard is worth a look. The horse will be getting a new trainer in Chad Brown and he was not out of his element at all in the Kentucky Derby. I will take McKinzie as my top choice and take a small flyer on Instilled Regard at big odds.

The Pennsylvania Derby takes place on Saturday, September 22 at Parx Racecourse with a start time of 5:45 p.m. Eastern.

Check out the latest Pennsylvania Derby odds at