Penn Mile draws 37 nominations
From a Penn National Gaming Inc. release
Nominations have closed for the fourth running of the Grade 3, $500,000 Penn Mile at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. A quality field is sure to emerge for the Saturday, June 4 stakes and the three undercard features that will also be contested that day.
Trainer Mark Casse has 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf champion Catch a Glimpse under consideration for a start against male rivals in the Penn Mile. Owned by Gary Barber, Michael James and Windways Farm, the daughter of City Zip has won six in a row for the Casse barn, most recently, a determined effort in the Grade 3, Edgewood at Churchill Downs under Florent Geroux, in which she prevailed over 12 rivals. The chestnut filly, who has bankrolled $929,052, was honored in Canada with the Sovereign Award 2015 Horse of the Year; Champion Grass Mare and Champion Two Year Old Filly.
He has also nominated John Oxley’s Airoforce, a Kentucky-bred son of Colonel John. Forced to steady in the Grade 2, $300,000 American Turf at Churchill Downs, the gray colt finished fourth, but has a Grade 2 win at Churchill in the Kentucky Jockey Club on his resume and ran second in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland.
Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred Camelot Kitten came from off the pace to capture the aforementioned American Turf. Trained by Chad Brown, the Kitten’s Joy filly has just made five career starts, with two wins and earnings of $278,520.
Another rising star nominated for the Penn Mile is Oscar Nominated from the barn of Mike Maker. Owned and bred by the Ramseys, the Kitten’s Joy colt exits a 17th -place finish to Nyquist in the 2016 Kentucky Derby. He won the Grade 3, $500,000 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park to earn his ticket to the prestigious Grade 1, $2,000,000 Kentucky Derby on May 7.
Hall of Fame conditioner Shug McGaughey has nominated Inspector Lynley, a Lemon Drop Kid homebred by the esteemed breeding duo of Stuart S. Janney, III LLC & Phipps Stable. The Kentucky-bred colt made his stakes debut earlier this year, running third in the Grade 3, Transylvania.
The Penn Mile continues to produce top caliber 3-year-old turf horses. Last year’s winner, Colts Neck Stables LLC’s Force the Pass captured the Grade 1, Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes and hit the board in three additional graded stakes in 2015. In 2014, Kenneth L. Ramsey’s Bobby’s Kitten, went on to take the Grade 1, Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.
In addition to the Penn Mile, Penn National’s marquee event includes the $200,000 Penn Oaks; $150,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup and the $200,000 Mountainview Handicap.
The intrepid turf sprinter Ben’s Cat leads the nominated runners for the Governor’s Cup at the distance of five furlongs on the turf. The Maryland-bred 10-year-old, owned by The Jim Stable and trained by King Leatherbury, has made 55 career starts, winning 35 races and amassing career earnings of $2.5 million. Undefeated this year, Ben’s Cat exits a thrilling victory on Black Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico where he won the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes by a neck under Trevor McCarthy.
The $200,000 Penn Oaks attracted 40 nominations including Larkin Armstrong’s multiple stakes winner Harmonize, trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott. The Scat Daddy filly topped a quality field in the Grade 3, JP Morgan Chase Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland last October. Family Tree, owned by Gary and Mary West, is also under consideration for trainer Bob Baffert. The Smart Strike filly is stakes-placed with three wins from six career starts. Noted turf trainer Christophe Clement has nominated seven fillies with Chad Brown, Mike Maker, Mark Casse and Todd Pletcher also pointing prospects to the one-mile turf feature.
Pletcher, a seven-time Eclipse Award winning conditioner, has seven in consideration for the nine furlong Mountainview Handicap, including Stanford, a Malibu Moon colt owned by Stonestreet Stables LLC, Susan Magnier, Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith. Runner-up in both the Grade 3 Fred Hooper and Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap, Stanford vaulted into national prominence in the Grade 2, Charles Town Classic on April 23 under Javier Castellano.
“In just its fourth running, the Penn Mile has attracted some of the most accomplished turf runners in the country,” said Eric Johnston, Director of Racing Operations. “We are pleased with the interest from noted horsemen from many regions and look forward to welcoming them to Penn National on June 4.”
The draw for the Penn Mile card will take place on Wednesday, June 1.
The Penn Mile is a Penn Gaming Racing Challenge Event, a year-long incentive competition that offers bonuses such as waived entry fee nominations and travel costs to leading owners, trainers and riders in select PGNI events.