Penn National hosts one of the biggest nights of racing of its year tonight, with four stakes on tap.  The card is highlighted by the second running of the Fabulous Strike Handicap, six furlongs on the dirt for three year-olds and up.  Here are four questions for the evening’s card:

  1. Can anyone beat Ribo Bobo in the Fabulous Strike?  The Louis Quatorze gelding, who changed hands — twice! — for $6,250 earlier this year, has won nine straight, including the Icecapade at Monmouth (over Immortal Eyes) and the Maryland Million Sprint (over Action Andy).  His main competition figures to be fan favorite Ben’s Cat, the defending champ in this event; he would certainly benefit if a horse like longshot Moonstruck Cowboy ratcheted up the early pace.  A scenario like that would also benefit busy three year-old City of Weston, who used a good setup to win the G3 Gallant Bob at Parx but ran an indifferent third in the City of Laurel, and recent Bet On Sunshine winner Good Morning Diva.
  2. Can Five Star Momma take them all the way in the Lady In Waiting?  The Five Star Day filly owns three wins at this six-furlong distance and looks to be the speed here — if she can break.  That’s  not just an idol question: in four of her last six starts, she’s had a trouble line at the gate.
  3. Which, if any, of a handful of interesting story lines will prevail in the Swatara?
    1. Will we see the good Norman Asbjornson tonight, the one who’s won two stakes this year and run well in a couple of others?  Or will we see the one who was nowhere in the Monmouth Cup and the Westchester?
    2. Can the talented Stephanoatsee get back on track?
    3. Can Managed Account make it four straight wins — and three straight stakes?
    4. Can Taptowne, who figures to be the favorite, win after failing in his last two as the favorite?
  4. On a day with tough weather in the East, can Penn National top last year’s handle for this day — a little over $1.5 million?

Good luck!
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