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Parx is a thoroughbred racetrack which is located Bensalem Township in Bucks County, Philadelphia. It is approximately thirty miles north of the city center, 40 miles from Philadelphia International Airport, and is located on a number of public transport links. It was previously known as Philadelphia Park Racetrack and Casino.
It is currently operated by Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, and is featured 24-hour gaming and simulcast betting.
Parx can facilitate a large number of thoroughbreds at any given time with 1,400 stalls located at the track. The entire facility stretched across 417 acres, and both the racetrack and casino are extremely popular with locals.
The track is one of a handful of North American venues which host year-round round racing, with the majority of meets taking place in the afternoon.
The Philadelphia track has both a dirt and turf track enabling top-class racing to take place throughout the year. The main course a one mile oval with a seven furlong and ¼ mile chute. It comprises of a mix of sand, clay and loom.
The turf course is a seven furlong track with a 1 1/8 chute.
The width of the track is 80 feet and there’s 974 feet from the last turn to the finish.
Parx racetrack is part of an entertainment complex, with 3,300 slot machines located within the facility, alongside a designated poker room and live table games. The casino was opened in 2009.
The Xcite Center also allows concerts and performances to be staged at the track, and can currently seat over 1,500 attendees.
A number of stakes races are held at the track, including the Grade I Pennsylvania Derby which is usually staged in late September.
Parx is one of the newer tracks in North America having opened in November 1974 replacing the existing the now-defunct Liberty Bell Park. It was originally called Keystone Racetrack and maintained this moniker until it was purchased by the Bensalem Oval in 1984.
Upon purchasing the track, the new owners immediately began to upgrade the facilities and make significant improvements. They constructed the turf track, added a live television show and an innovative phone betting system.
Six off-track locations were also added, and these enabled bettors to wager on the racing seven days a week.
Greenwood Racing purchased the track in 1990 and paid around $67 million to acquire all of the facilities at Philadelphia Parx. The company then expanded into New Jersey, and purchased Freehold Raceway.
A temporary casino was opened at the track in 2006, before the permanent standalone casino was unveiled three years later.
In 2010, the track changed its name to Parx Racing and Casino.
In 2014, the track required all participating jockeys to sign a waiver in order to ride at the track. This was provoked by an incident which resulted in a jockey suffering fatal injuries at the course four years earlier. The annual jockeys and jeans fundraiser took place at Parx for the first time in 2017, it had previously been held at Tampa Bay and Gulfstream Park.
There have been many notable names to have competed at the track with Smarty Jones arguably the most famous. The chestnut colt won both the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby and narrowly missed out on completing the Triple Crown. He was regularly seen at Parx throughout his career. Summer Squall, Broad Brush and My Juliet are other big names to have featured here.
Parx Known Track Bias
Parx is generally regarded as a “speed track” and therefore it is beneficial to be either front-running or stalking the pace. Those horses who hit the front early are often able to get away from any potential closers. This is not a hard and fast rule, but handicappers have noted that wire-to-wire winners are commonplace at the track.
Over the longer trip (1m 70 yards), horses drawn wide tend to fare well. In bigger fields, horses drawn in stalls 4-9 tend to win more races than those who have been given the inside post, although recent stats suggest this is slowly beginning to chance. This historic bias could be due to the fact that competitors have time to shuffle into position ahead of the first turn.
The run-in to the first turn is much shorter in races held over one mile, and this results in a more even spread of winners. There is also no obvious advantage to front-runners in these contests.
Horses drawn on the inside tend to struggle when the track is wet or sloppy, and they can often get bogged down in the conditions close to the rail.
Winning Post Positions
In 2019, the majority of races have been held on the main track. Further turf contests will be taking place during the summer months, but the stats so far suggest that there is no overall bias towards any of the stalls. Horses drawn in four have been the most successful so far, but there has been a decent spread of winners on this course.
Sprint races on the main track show a bias towards the inside stalls. 17% of winners have come from the inside post, with over 40% of winners being drawn 1-4 in races over the shorter distance. Stall nine is an outlier, and has also produced 16% of winners, albeit from a smaller sample of 160 runners. Just six of the 77 runners drawn in stall ten have been successful, whilst one of the six horses in stall twelve have entered the winners enclosure.
Stall five and eight have been the least successful positions in sprint races on the main track so far in 2019.
Distance races have also generally favoured the inside posts in 2019, which has bucked the recent trend. 20% of winners over the longer trip have come from the inside stall. Stall four has been the least successful, producing just 9% of winners. Stall nine has also yielded very few winners this year, with just four of the 56 runners entering the winner’s enclosure. None of the six runners drawn in stall twelve have been successful yet.
Top Trainers at Parx
There are a number of horsemen who regularly send their runners to the Philadelphia track. Key races throughout the season also attract top trainers who ship their thoroughbreds across from neighbouring states.
There are a number of trainers who should be noted whenever they send a runner to the track.
Stats for 2019:
- Edward J Coletti (19% Strike Rate)
- Marcos Zulueta (19% Strike Rate)
- Scott Lake (23% Strike Rate)
- Michael Pino (23% Strike Rate)
- Juan Carlos Guerrero (25% Strike Rate)
- Kathleen Demasi (26% Strike Rate)
- Robert Mosco (26% Strike Rate)
- Alfredo Velaquez (27% Strike Rate)
Top Jockeys at Parx
As previously mentioned, all jockeys must sign a waiver in order to ride at Parx. Therefore, the track tends to attract riders who are truly committed to the sport.
There are plenty of jockeys to keep an eye on at the track.
Stats for 2019:
- Roberto Rosedo (15% Strike Rate)
- Ruben Silvera (15% Strike Rate)
- Angel Rodriguez (16% Strike Rate)
- Luis Rodriguez Castro (16% Strike Rate)
- Emmanuel Esquivel (19% Strike Rate)
- Mychel Sanchez (22% Strike Rate)
- Frankie Pennington (23% Strike Rate)
Parx Racing Season and Key Races
Parx hosts year-round racing with meets held four times a week. Typically, racing will take place on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday each week, although simulcast betting is available at the track on non-racing days.
Summer racing at Parx tends to attract more interest with a higher standard of racing taking place throughout July-September.
There are a number of stakes races taking place at the Philadelphia track throughout the season:
Pennsylvania Derby, Cotillion Handicap
Smarty Jones Stakes, Greenwood Cup Stakes, Parx Dash Handicap, Dr James Penny Memorial Handicap, Turf Monster Handicap
Other Stakes Races:
My Juliet Stakes, Jostle Stakes, Ambassador of Luck Stakes, Captain my Captain Handicap, Devil’s Honor Handicap, Mr Jenny Handicap, Mrs Penney Stakes, Northern Fling Handicap, Peppy Addy Stakes, PTHA President’s Cup, Turf Amazon Handicap, Gallant Bob Handicap
Parx Racetrack Address
2999 Street Rd, Bensalem, PA 19020, USA