1. NOBLE TUNE – The Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf runner up has 4 wins in his 5 starts and is the most proven over the last nine months.
2. UP WITH THE BIRDS – Malcolm Pierce’s Stormy Atlantic colt has certainly has seen tough foes, perhaps the best on this roster.
3. JACK MILTON – If Todd Pletcher’s lightly raced colt had a few more outings, he may be ranked even higher. His Transylvania win was over a talented field.
4. WAR DANCER – Ken McPeek’s War Front colt ran out of turf in his stretch run in the American Turf. Jockey Alan Garcia may not wait so long in his next start.
5. ADMIRAL KITTEN – Only one career win on the turf for Michael Maker’s pupil, a Ramsey home-bred, but he’s been running well in tough company.
6. RYDILLUC – The Palm Beach stakes winner at Gulfstream couldn’t hold on to the lead in the Bluegrass on the synthetic.
7. TATTENHAM – Bill Mott’s Rock Hard Ten colt has only two starts for Juddmonte Farms, both impressive wins on the turf at Tampa.
8. CHARMING KITTEN – In January, he won the Kitten’s Joy at Gulfstream, named after his sire.
Saturday’s inaugural running of the $500,000 Penn Mile at Penn National — for three year-olds going a mile on the grass — has drawn more than 50 nominations.
Among those 50 are many of the top grass three year-olds in the country — in fact, eight of the 10 that comprised Nick Hahn’s first weekly “Turf 10” list, which came out on May 20.
Hahn, a writer for The Racing Biz and also cohost of the weekly Off to the Races radio show on Richmond’s ESPN 950 AM, compiles the Turf 10 during the heart of racing season, in part to keep a beat on those horses that might end up in the G2 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs. This year, that race will take place July 13.
Now, with another high-purse grass route race, spaced a comfortable five or so weeks prior to Colonial’s big race, the top turf horses in the East — and perhaps some from the West — will have a new opportunity to test themselves against top-flight competition.
Look for the next Turf 10 later this week.