In Focus: Penn Mile Pick 4
Our In Focus Guide offers the most in-depth analysis and commentary on the big stakes on Penn Mile day at Penn National. All photos by The Racing Biz.
Race 6 – Penn Oaks
RACE PARTICULARS: Race 6 (6:10pm EDT), $200,000 guaranteed purse for 3-year-old fillies, 1 mile (turf)
- #7 Adorable Miss (2-1): rallied nicely to win the Honey Ryder and remain undefeated last out, picks up Javier Castellano in the irons
- #2 Dynatail (8-1) ran a good one last out in the Hilltop, pressing a fast pace and staying on to the wire, wheels back on just two weeks’ rest
- #1 Noble Ready (5-2) gave a solid accounting of herself in season debut when second in the Honey Ryder, will need to step forward here to defeat that race’s winner, #7; second Lasix for Clement trainee
- #4 Party Boat (3-1) parlayed a good trip into second career stakes win last out, has tactical speed to work out a good trip here
THE REST OF THE FIELD
#3 Romantic Music (15-1) is still eligible for a first-level allowance, will need a big one to compete here… #5 Diadura (15-1), a stakes winner on synthetic, makes her turf debut and will need to move forward in second start of ’17… #6 Spanish Harlem (8-1) enters off 30-length N1X win in off-the-turf race at AQU, but lone turf try was inconclusive… #8 Viva Vegas (15-1) hasn’t raced in over two months since breaking her maiden in turf bow, may look to control pace from outside stall
Race 7 – Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup
RACE PARTICULARS: Race 7 (6:40pm EDT), $200,000 guaranteed purse for 3-year-olds and upward, 5 furlongs (turf)
- #1 Ready for Rye (5-1) is a stakes winner at the trip, makes season debut; has fired fresh before
- #2 Richard’s Boy (2-1) prevailed in the rain at Pimlico last out, never worse than second in five tries at the distance
- #4 Take Cover (8-1) is the defending champ, may be rounding back into form after good season debut try in Jim McKay Turf Sprint
- #7 Rainbow Heir (5-2) owns a 5-furlong stake win, will be running late
THE REST OF THE FIELD
#3 Oak Bluffs (10-1) will need career-best effort at age 7 to compete here… #5 Heiko (15-1) is winless at the distance, may find distance too short to attain customary early spot at the front of the pack… #6 Gold Man (15-1) is entered for main track only… #8 Awesome Ghost (15-1) makes turf debut, looks to be out of his depth here… #9 Bold Thunder (8-1) makes season debut but at seven doesn’t look to be quite the horse he was when finishing third in this event in ’14 and ’15…
Race 8 – Mountainview Stakes
RACE PARTICULARS: Race 8 (7:10pm EDT), $200,000 guaranteed purse for 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles (Dirt)
- #4 Matt King Coal (7-2) ran a superb race when surviving the early pace last out to be a near-miss second in the G2 CT Classic, rates a huge shot here
- #1 Madefromlucky (2-1) has kept the right sort of company but has not won a race since 2015, a span of 10 starts
- #2 Virtual Machine (6-1) gave an awfully good accounting of himself last out to be a clear second to the very good Connect, could be controlling speed here
THE REST OF THE FIELD
#3 Discreet Lover (8-1) has been thrashed in last four stakes tries, needs major form reversal… #5 Page McKenney (9-5) is getting same results as prior years even while speed figs say he’s not the same horse, and morning line odds feel too short… #6 Whatsthequestion (12-1) defeated beaten $15,000 claimers last out, will need career-best effort here…
Race 9 – Penn Mile (Grade II)
RACE PARTICULARS: Race 9 (7:45pm EDT), $500,000 guaranteed purse for 3-year-olds, 1 mile (turft)
- #7 Big Score (5-2) –Tim Yakteen trainee is another West Coast shipper, and there’s nothing wrong with his career efforts to date, including a win in the G3 Transylvania and a good third in the G2 American Turf. Figures to get a pace to run at, and is reunited with recent regular pilot Javier Castellano.
- #3 Time to Travel (8-1) – Solid effort last out in a good edition of the restricted Sir Barton in first try with Lasix. Matz trainee makes first try on the green stuff but is a full to multiple Grade 1-winning turf millionaire Hard Not to Like. Could make major impact at a price.
- #8 Frostmourne (3-1) – Christophe Clement trainee had a useful season debut when runner-up in the Woodhaven in first try in six months while getting Lasix for the first time; owns right to move forward off that one. Stakes winner projects a mid-pack trip here with Irad Ortiz up and could be a handful late
- #6 Holiday Stone (12-1) –Harlan’s Holiday colt’s best efforts – including second #7 Big Score in the G3 Transylvania – put him in the mix. May not have liked slick going or buried-down-inside trip last out, and is drawn more favorably in mid-pack here. Can outrun these odds.
THE REST OF THE FIELD
#2 Bronson (4-1) – Pricey Pletcher trainee couldn’t have asked for a much better trip last out in taking the English Channel, when perched a few lengths behind a solid pace. Same trip not out of the question here today. Pletcher’s 11-for-30 at the track, with 80 percent of runners in the money, in the last five years… #1 Shiraz (8-1) – One of a trio of runners owned by Three Diamonds Farm in this race and one of two trained by Mike Maker, the other being in the Pletcher barn. The most experienced runner here, with 10 starts, this New York-bred son of Tale of the Cat enjoyed best result when third in G3 Dania Beach at 7 ½ furlongs. Also third three back in $100k stake at GP, but that was a questionable race. Enters off back-to-back defeats as the favorite in NY-bred allowance company while sprinting. Should be more forwardly placed today, but why here with just a week away? #4 Cistron (6-1) – Versatile son of The Factor has a stakes win on the dirt and three stakes placings on the lawn, including last out when second as the favorite in the Desert Code at Santa Anita. Love the confidence trainer John Sadler shows by shipping here from his Santa Anita base, and Paco Lopez in the irons could be a good fit. Speedy sort could grab the lead if that’s how it shakes out but doesn’t need the front… #5 Mo Maverick (8-1) – George Weaver trainee is another runner who figures to be part of the early pace, based on recent tries, including tiring third last out in the Murphy. Feargal Lynch takes the mount for the first time on a runner who’ll need his very best in this spot. This son of Uncle Mo, out of a Lemon Drop Kid mare, fetched $200,000 at auction… #1a Bonus Points (8-1) – The second Pletcher runner in here, this guy was on the periphery of the Triple Crown trail, trying the New York route, including a fifth-place finish in the G2 Wood Memorial before finding the drop to ungraded company more to his liking last out. His two turf tries aren’t overly promising, though, and he and his sibs are 0-for-24 going a route of ground on the lawn… #1x Prize Fight (8-1) – This feels like an awfully heavy lift for a runner three starts removed from beating maiden claimers. Blinkers go on for this Maker trainee, the third in the Three Diamonds contingent. That was a decent effort in the Sophomore last out; runner-up General McGooby returned to be second to #2 Bronson in GP stake next out. Tiznow colt is cross-entered in stake at BEL.