- Lyphard S. (PEN) – F & M, 3yo and up, PA-bred, 1 1/16 miles
- John J. Reilly S. (MTH) — 3yo and up, NJ-bred, 6 furlongs
- Penn Oaks (PEN) – 3yo fillies, 1 mile (turf)
- Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup (PEN) – 3yo and up, 5 furlongs (turf)
- Mountainview H. (PEN) – 3yo and up, 1 1/8 miles
- Penn Mile S. (PEN) – 3yo, 1 mile (turf)
- Penn Dash S. (PEN) – 3yo and up, 5 furlongs
- Open Mind H. (MTH) — F & M, 3yo and up, NJ-bred, 6 furlongs[/boxify]
Penn National hosts its biggest weekend of the year, with one stake — the Lyphard — on tap this evening and five more tomorrow. The weekend is highlighted by the second running of the $500,000 Penn Mile, which has attracted a solid group of sophomore turf runners. Here are previews of tomorrow’s top races from the track:
Monmouth Park has two stakes on tap, one for New Jersey-breds and the other for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares; both are six furlong events. Saturday’s John J. Reilly for three year-olds and up has attracted a group of 10, and eight of them are between 3-1 and 10-1, making it an intriguing betting race. Partyallnightlong, most recently fifth in the Decathlon, gets the nod as the 3-1 morning line choice. But Grade 3 winner Rainbow Heir — making his first start of ’14 — and talented Zealevo are not far behind; both are 7-2.
Wine drinkers may enjoy Sunday’s Open Mind, for NJ-bred fillies and mares. Two “wine horses” — Pinot Grigio and Champagne Rain — are among the eight entered. Undefeated (in two starts) World Gone Wright is the 5-2 favorite, but three others — P J’s Superego (3-1), Elba (7-2), and Pinot Grigio (4-1) — are 4-1 or less.
Today’s featured Pimlico race of the day is race 10, a first-level allowance for fillies and mares going six furlongs on the main track. The group, in post position order:
- Sandbag (Program #2) — February claim makes third start of a busy May for trainer Ferris Allen; prior two have been off-the-turf allowance tries, one promising, one not so much. The going is softer here than her last, on Black-Eyed Susan day, but not convinced it’s quite soft enough.
- Robbinette (#3) — $7500 claim ran a credible fourth in her last, an off-the-turf allowance, but the bad news is that the show horse that day was Sandbag, who’s also here. She owns two wins at the distance. Trainer Dale Capuano is laboring through a Pimlico meet in which he’s winless in 37 tries, and this looks like a tough assignment.
- Fifth Amendment (#4) — Tres Abbott trainee won at first asking on the lawn and now shifts for race number two to the main track. Debut win produced a next-out winner and three others to finish in the triple next time. The word was out on this one in her debut, as she went off as the favorite at 2.40-1 and wore down a more experienced rival. Forest Boyce will ride a runner with the right to step forward and go two-for-two.
- Before You Know It (#1) — Just missed against similar last time out, and one of two to run back from that race has won (albeit against $8,000 claimers). Has now lost the first-level allowance race five times at five different tracks. In second local try with Cecily Evans aboard, she figures to be in the mix late.
- Soft Ball (#1A) — Daughter of Grand Slam won at first asking — but that was on the turf at Colonial Downs almost a year ago. She’s been away since but has been working well enough for trainer Dane Kobiskie for this return. Kobiskie has won five of 31 tries with similar layoffs with a $2 ROI of just $1.12.
- Seven Days (#5) — Daughter of Quiet American has been throttled in two 2014 tries against relatively similar, beaten by double-digit lengths at odds of 25-1 and 30-1. She showed more earlier in her career, but it would take a complete reversal of form for her to find her way into the mix here.
- Deputy Fancy (#6) — Trainer-owner combo (Robin Graham and Mr. and Mrs. Phil Spingler) have been in the money in 10 of 14 starts in the last two years, and this filly has done her bit, with two wins and two seconds from five starts. She beat starter allowance company last out, and in her previous try ran second in a race which produced five next-out winners and a place horse. Daughter of Deputy Storm debuted against $12,500 maidens but has moved steadily forward and belongs with these.
- Dulcedumbre (#7) — Morning line fave ships in for Alan Goldberg. She’s been away since December after running second against Aqueduct allowance runners. Something of a bridesmaid, she’s finished second in five of 10 career starts with just a lone win; broke her maiden going a mile at Laurel. Made only two starts at less than a mile — the first two of her career, finishing fourth both times. On the one hand, this has something of the feel of a tuneup for larger goals; on the other, Goldberg has a strong record with horses away for similar breaks and a positive ROI.
TOP MIDLANTIC-BREDS IN ACTION
Storming Inti, ranked number one among three year-olds in the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll, is the only runner from the poll in action this week. He is the 3-1 third choice in the $500,000 Penn Mile at Penn National on Saturday.