Penn Mile Preview

Competitive Field of 10 Set for $500,000 Penn Mile Stakes

One of the biggest races of the weekend to break from the gate June 3rd is the $500,000 Penn Mile. The 5th running of the Grade II race is on the turf at Penn National Race Course with 10 fairly accomplished 3-year-olds lined up in a very competitively priced race. Eight of the runners were stakes-placed in their most recent race, and three trainer’s saddle of pair of horses – Mike Maker, Todd Pletcher and George Weaver.

The favorite Big Score (5-2) and Cistron (6-1) ship in from Southern California to challenge Frostmourne (3-1), who breaks from the outside. Frostmourne had a pair of wins last year and was runner-up in his 3-year-old debut in the Woodhaven Stakes following a lengthy layoff. He posted his best Equibase Speed Figure (ESF) of 102 in that race. Big Score also had his best ESF (108) in his last race, a 3rd place finish in the American Turf Stakes. He won the Transylvania Stakes (G3) in April at Keeneland with a 107 ESF and is the only horse in the field with a graded-stakes win. Multiple Eclipse Award-winning jockey Javier Castellano rides him for the third-straight time. Castellano has owned Penn National, winning 9 of 17 stakes races at the track.

Time To Travel (8-1) makes his turf debut but is expected to make a good move on the surface. He posted a 102 ESF in an April sprint and finished 2nd in the Sir Barton Stakes in his most recent race.

Bronson (4-1) and Bonus Points (8-1) are the pair for Pletcher, and Bronson won the English Channel last month while Bonus Points captured the Parx Derby on the main track. Mo Maverick (8-1) is expected to push the pace, while Prize Fight (8-1) and Shiraz (8-1).  Holiday Stone (12-1) is the long shot in the field, but he was a close 2nd to Big Score in the Transylvania and posted a strong 106 EFS.

The field and post position with best Equibase Speed Figure in parentheses.

  1. Shiraz (94)
  2. Bonus Points (90)
  3. Prize Fight (89)
  4. Bronson (99)
  5. Time To Travel (102)
  6. Cistron (100)
  7. Mo Maverick (99)
  8. Holiday Stone (106)
  9. Big Score (108)
  10. Frostmourne (102)

The Penn Mile is Race 9 on Saturday, June 3 and is preceded by the $200,000 Mountain View Stakes (1 1/8 miles), $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup (5 furlongs turf), $200,000 Penn Oaks (1 mile turf), $100,000 Danzig Stakes (6 furlongs), $100,000 Lyphard Stakes (1 1/16 miles turf) and $100,000 New Start Stakes (6 furlongs).

Penn Oaks Preview

Biggest Day of Racing at Penn National Starts with the Penn Oaks

Rain showers could hit the track in Grantville, PA on Friday and Sunday, but Saturday’s biggest race day at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course looks good. Four stakes races are scheduled including Race 1, the $200,000 Penn Oaks. A field of seven sophomore fillies will take to the turf going 1-mile.

Pricedtoperfection is the lone graded-stakes winner in the field, and trainer Chad Brown looks for a repeat of her effort when she won the 1-mile Sweetest Chant (G3) at Gulfstream at 9-2 odds. He’s now the morning line favorite at 9-5 with Joel Rosario returning to ride after being aboard the winner January 30. A third place finish followed in the Memories of Silver Stakes at Aqueduct April 24, and she’ll try to come off the pace again as Brown defends his Oaks title following last year’s win with Strict Compliance.

Todd Pletcher-trained Sweet Victory is the second choice at 5-2 and enters off back-to-back wins including May 7 when she captured the 1 1/16 mile Honey Ryder at Gulfstream in her first try in stakes company. She was the fourth choice that day at 5-1 and closed for the win despite going wide throughout. She breezed four furlongs at Monmouth May 27 and jockey Javier Castello will try to ride her to another Sweet Victory.

Conquest Serenade is trainer Mark Casse’s choice here as his star filly Catch a Glimpse will try to beat the boys in the feature $500,000 Penn Mile. Conquest Serenade has won two of her last three races including last time out in allowance company May 6 at Churchill Downs. That race was 6 ½ furlongs on the dirt when she won on the lead as the 4-5 favorite. She broke her maiden the race prior at Keeneland going seven furlongs on the dirt, and now the daughter of Unbridled’s Song switches to the turf. Tough to support her at first asking going further on the turf, but her trainer remains confident.

“She’s a young filly, but has a lot of talent,” said Casse. “The Oaks will mark several firsts for her.  First stakes, first going long and first on grass. We think she is a wonderful filly and has trained on the well on the turf.”

Undefeated fillies Involuntary and Tippling Ways will try to score as longer shots, and Involuntary has the best shot at 8-1. She broke her maiden at first asking at Tampa Bay Downs April 8 and made it 2-for-2 May 20 with an impressive front-running score on the Pimlico turf as the 2-1 favorite against 13 rivals. She could run clear again here in her stakes debut.

The Penn Oaks also serves as one of the races in the Penn Gaming Racing Challenge Event, a year-long incentive competition comprised of 22 races worth more than $5 million purse money that offers bonuses such as waived entry fees at PNGI tracks the following year and a trip to the PNGI owned M Resort in Las Vegas

Post Time for Race 1, the Penn Oaks, is at 6:05 P.M. EST as the start of an all-stakes Pick 4 culminating with the Penn Mile.

Fillies 3YO, 1 Mile (Turf)

  1. Horse, Jockey, Odds, Trainer
  2. Tippling Ways, Angel Serpa, 15-1, Tim Woolley
  3. Conquest Serenade, Florent Geroux, 9-2, Mark E. Casse
  4. Outsider Art, Joe Bravo, 6-1, Jonathan E. Sheppard
  5. Pricedtoperfection, Joel Rosario, 9-5, Chad C. Brown
  6. Sweet Victory, Javier Castellano, 5-2, Todd A. Pletcher
  7. Lottie, Edgar S. Prado, 8-1, K. Carmouchie, Graham Motion
  8. Involuntary, Trevor McCarthy, 8-1, Arnaud Delacour