From a Penn National Gaming Inc. release
After a strong 2-year-old season in which she won a turf stakes race at Gulfstream Park, trainer Jane Cibelli couldn’t have found a tougher spot for her Red Sashay to make her 3-year-old debut.
The Sweetest Chant Stakes in January at Gulfstream Park attracted a tremendously talented field, including winner Consumer Credit, who went on to finish second in the Grade 3 Florida Oaks and first in a stakes race at Aqueduct; Florida Oaks winner Quality Rocks; and Miss Temple City, who recently won the Hilltop Stakes at Pimlico and next will run at Royal Ascot.
Cibelli gave Red Sashay time off after she finished a close-up sixth in the race, and when she returned May 2, she closed fast to win the Honey Ryder Stakes at Gulfstream. With that victory under her belt, Red Sashay will now once against take on Quality Rocks in the $150,000 Penn Oaks, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.
The Penn Oaks is the opening race on the prestigious Penn Mile race card and the first leg of a special All-Stakes Pick Four that continues with the $150,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup, the $200,000 Mountainview Handicap, and culminates with the $500,000 Penn Mile.
Post time for the Penn Oaks is 6 p.m., with the Penn Mile scheduled for 7:22 p.m. The four stakes races will be televised live by HRTV, which will begin broadcasting at 5:30 EDT.
“We ran her down at Gulfstream and I hooked Chad Brown’s Consumer Credit, and it was a very tough race,” Cibelli said. “She’s a big, tall filly, and we said let’s give her time to mature, and it’s really paid off. Last race [the Honey Ryder], she raced wide and came home in 23 [seconds] and change – really well. We have high hopes for her.”
Red Sashay, a daughter of Big Brown who will be ridden for the first time by Jose Ortiz, will have to deal once again with Quality Rocks, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott.
Quality Rocks, a daughter of Rock Hard Ten, raced last fall in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf, weakening to 10th at the finish, but has come back smartly this year with the Florida Oaks victory and runner-up finishes in the Sweetest Chant and Grade 3 Edgewood at Churchill Downs.
Trainer James Cassidy will send out Prize Exhibit, who began her career in England and finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf.
She won an allowance in her debut as a 3-year-old and followed with back-to-back fourth-place finishes in graded stakes races. Both of those races were at 1 1/8 miles.
“It looked like she didn’t want to go that far,” Cassidy said. “She’s going back to a mile, and I think she’ll appreciate it.”
B Rockett, Pangburn, Lady Bling, Strict Compliance and Gypsy Judy complete the field.