The veteran turf sprinter Pure Sensation has lived up to his moniker in his travels over the years to Parx, outside Philadelphia, winning the Turf Monster (G3) three times and the Parx Dash (G2) twice.
Nonetheless, the eight-year-old gray has a bit of a score to settle in Saturday’s renewal of the $200,000 Parx Dash as his attempt at a three-peat last year was denied by Vision Perfect, who will be seeking his own title defense in the about five-furlong heat.
Since last year’s upset Pure Sensation has raced just four times, winning three. After getting revenge over Vision Perfect by a neck in the Turf Monster, Pure Sensation closed out 2018 with a third to stablemate Disco Partner in the $150,000 Belmont Turf Sprint. This season, the Christophe Clement trainee defeated Fig Jelly in a Gulfstream allowance and beat the likes of Completed Pass and Nice Tune in the $100,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup at Penn National.
Vision Perfect’s form has been mixed. Up the track in a Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) contested on soft ground, he rebounded to win both the $75,000 Turf Dash at Tampa Bay Downs and $100,000 Janus at Gulfstream. Second to the talented Imprimis in the $75,000 Silks Run back at Gulfstream two, he threw in another clunker last time in a smaller stakes at Monmouth Park, finishing eighth as the even-money choice.
Completed Pass, who captured the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint at Pimlico two back, appears the main threat to the top two, while Fig Jelly is an improving stablemate of Vision Perfect’s from the barn of Jason Servis. Smokin Nitro and Rocket Heat both have form in the not too distant past that would suggest a share or more is possible.