In our weekly LookBack, we follow up on some of last week’s biggest stories:
- Business-wise, Penn Mile day shattered the central Pennsylvania track’s handle records. The event, anchored by the $500,000 Penn Mile for three year-olds going a mile on the grass, generated more than $3.6 million in all-sources handle — almost $1.5 million more than the track’s previous busiest day. “On every possible level, tonight was a huge success,” said Dan Silver, director of racing operations at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.
- On the track, the horses did their part: Rydilluc (ranked 5th in Hahn’s Turf 10 rankings of three year-olds), made the lead with a quarter-mile to go and did not relinquish it en route to winning the inaugural Penn Mile in a zippy time of 1:33.99. His closest pursuers were Charming Kitten (ranked 9th) and Jack Milton (ranked 4th). Meanwhile, Tightend Touchdown — who nearly did not make it to the track on time — didn’t waste any time making the lead in the five furlong Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup and nearly broke the track record en route to a five-length win. His running time of 54.62 missed Bop’s 11 year-old record by just .01 seconds.
- Millionaire — and 11 year-old! — Heros Reward headlined a grass starter allowance at Pimlico on Friday, but it was relative youngster Biddy — just five — who stole the show, making every step a winning one en route to a one-length victory. Heros Reward, at 2.40-1 the third choice in the field of eight, finished fourth.
- Pimlico runs its last two days of 2013 this weekend, with Saturday featuring both simulcasts of the Belmont Stakes and a Brew and Bourbon Classic. Learn more about the latter here.
- Meanwhile, it’ll be opening day at Colonial Downs on Saturday — the first time the Virginia track has run even a single day overlapping with Maryland racing. Officials there are hopeful that a number of changes — including a shorter meet with higher purses — will benefit the quality of racing and the track’s bottom line.