In Focus: Wagering Penn Mile day at Penn National

by | Jun 1, 2018 | Breaking, Handicapping, Top Stories

Rose Brier

Daylight Ahead. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

Our In Focus Guide offers the most in-depth analysis and commentary to the All Stakes Pick 4 Saturday at Penn National! Click here for a two-page PDF version of this guide!


  • Race 6 – 6, 8, 12
  • Race 7 – 1, 2, 5
  • Race 8 – 4, 10, 12
  • Race 9 – 3, 4, 6, 8
  • TOTAL COST – $54 on a 0.50 ticket


RACE PARTICULARS: Race 6 (6:10pm EDT), $100,000 guaranteed purse for fillies and mares 3yo and up, 5 furlongs (turf)


  1. Zealous Scholar (10-1): With a career-best Beyer speed fig of 76 plus questionable turf breeding — neither parent tried the grass, nor have his sibs — this miss is likely to find this event tough sledding
  2. Rocky Policy (10-1): Good news: she’s run some awfully good races on the grass and, though it’s her first start of the year, has fired fresh before and is training well. Bad news: remains winless in 10 turf tries, six at the distance.
  3. Grogger (20-1): Seems a tough spot for a 6yo mare still eligible for an N1X allowance
  4. Assail (8-1): Has finished in the exacta 14 straight times and enters off back-to-back allowance scores; turf tries weren’t bad, though against much lesser, and she’s a different horse now than she was then; may offer betting value
  5. Daylight Ahead (12-1): Best efforts – including Jameela win, show effort in Blue Sparkler at MTH – would put her in the mix here; ’18 debut wasn’t much, but that was off-the-turf on the slop, so give her a pass for that and look for an improved try here
  6. Morticia (5-2): G3 winner rates a long look here; couldn’t quite hold on in last after setting sharp fractions; projects to be part of the early pace under Jose Lezcano, who’s ridden her in eight of 12 starts
  7. Your Pace Or Mine (10-1): Will need to get back to best form here after tough outing last out in the Primonetta on the main track; best turf efforts, including three-length defeat by Lady Shipman in the Turf Amazon in 2016, compete with these
  8. Just Talkin (7-2): Was just a half-length behind the favorite in here two back at GP and followed that up with six-length allowance score; one of six to run back from that score has won; can lead or stalk as rider Ortiz prefers
  9. My Sister Caro (12-1): 6yo Bop mare has done plenty right in her career, as $262k in earnings would attest, but likely projects not quite the equal of some of today’s rivals
  10. Tanya’s Gem (15-1): Locally-based runner has home field advantage but figures to need more than that against this crew; ran just two weeks back
  11. Polite Pearl (15-1): Congrats mare set to try turf for the first time at age 6, will need career-best effort to get the money
  12. Boos (10-1): Makes first start of ’18 for trainer Goldberg; G2-placed runner in France might benefit from softer turf; last-out seventh might be better than it looks, as four of six to finish in front of her returned winners, and she had a rough break; clean getaway helps cause


  1. #8 Just Talkin (7-2): Improving sort tries to turn tables on favorite
  2. #12 Boos (10-1): G2-placed in France
  3. #6 Morticia (5-2): G3 winner continues to churn out good efforts
  4. #4 Assail (8-1): 14 straight in the exacta
Queen Caroline

Dynatail winning the 2017 Penn Oaks. PHoto by The Racing Biz.

Race 7 — PENN OAKS

RACE PARTICULARS: Race 7 (6:40pm EDT), $200,000 guaranteed purse for three-year-old fillies, 1 mile (turf)

THE FIELD (post position order)

  1. Program # 1 Classy Dancer (2-1 (poe)): Nice claim by trainer Jason Servis, as this Speightstown filly paid immediate dividends with starter allowance score, then ran second in $75k stake after leading a long way
  2. Program # 2 Got Stormy (6-1): Solid try last out in G3 Edgewood when beaten less than two; runner-up that day was BC Juvenile Filly Turf winner Rushing Fall; figures mid-pack or farther back, motoring late under regular pilot Gaffalione
  3. Program # 1a Thewayiam (2-1 (poe)): Multiple graded winner rounds out the entry, has big closing kick
  4. Program # 3 Stormologist (15-1): Crushed by 14 in the Hilltop over a boggy Pimlico course; hard to know what to make of that one, her turf debut, but we’d like to see more out of her before dropping a wager on her
  5. Program # 4 Raucous (5-1): First Lasix last out, and perhaps a useful season bow when outfooted going six furlongs; added ground a plus here and can improve; note that rider Carmouche goes to #1 here
  6. Program # 5 Treasuring (5-2): Busy sophomore — 12 starts in her career — showed a new dimension last out when leading through fast fractions and then holding on for G3 win; outer draw and compact field might presage similar try here, though #1 presents speed as well
  7. Program # 6 Goodthingstaketime (3-1): Improving sort has outrun her odds in place and show efforts last two versus graded foes; finished a length-and-change behind #1a in here last out, showing solid works in preparation for this


  1. #2 Got Stormy (6-1): Nicely improving form gives hope she can take down the chalk
  2. #5 Treasuring (5-2): New dimension when on the engine last out but must survive early heat from #1
  3. #1a Thewayiam (2-1): Other half of entry figures to provide speed that sets up this one’s late kick; class edge here
  4. #4 Raucous (5-1): Useful return when sprinting; second-time Lasix today
Lovable Lady

Pool Winner. Photo by The Racing Biz.


RACE PARTICULARS: Race 8 (7:10pm EDT), $200,000 purse for 3yo and up, 5 furlongs (turf)


  1. Ugottahaveheart (10-1): Main-track only
  2. Jaguar Poz (10-1): Got a freshening before third-place effort last out, and if he can return to 12/30/17 try in TAM stake, he’ll have a shot in here
  3. Oak Bluffs (5-1): Late-running veteran will hope for a zippy pace to set up his closing kick; didn’t run badly last out but would have liked to see him get by the stopping leader in the lane; firmer turf might aid his cause
  4. Dubini (10-1): Intriguing Kate DeMasi trainee has lost four straight after opening career with four wins in a row, but two back ran a huge one to be a close-up second at 59-1; makes ’18 debut here and likely to offer some value
  5. Uncle Youdge (12-1): Hugh McMahon trainee will need a career-best effort here after even effort when finishing behind #11 here last out
  6. Pool Winner (10-1): Posted a five-race win streak back in ’16 but has been beaten by several of these in recent efforts; returns home after unsuccessful FL sojourn and will need to return to best form
  7. Grasshoppin (12-1): Claudio Gonzalez trainee’s certainly in good form now with back-to-back wins, including in the PA-bred Lyman Stakes, but both were on the main track; lone career turf try was just OK, a fifth-place finish in the ’15 Robellino for PA-breds
  8. Rapid Dan (12-1): Hard to imagine he got much out of his ’18 debut last out when squeezed back early and never involved; 7yo has run some good races on the lawn but seems more likely underneath
  9. Midtowncharlybrown (8-1): Lone turf try doesn’t give much reason for optimism unless this one comes off onto the main track
  10. Ray’swarrior (10-1): Big effort last out in first in 10 months when posting front-running score; figures to be on the engine again here
  11. Triple Burner (10-1): Earned career-best Beyer speed fig last out when rallying to second behind speedy Rocket Heat on a hard LRL turf course; took a pass on Jim McKay Turf Sprint, in which that rival ran second; will need a top effort
  12. Pure Sensation (2-1): Useful season debut last out when second in GP allowance; Clement trainee has multiple graded wins and has been beaten less than two lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint twice; major contender here


  1. #12 Pure Sensation (2-1): Ton of class, should benefit from decent season opener
  2. #10 Ray’swarrior (10-1): Might be fastest of all away from the gate
  3. #4 Dubini (10-1): Gets pilot Carmouche back in the irons, must return to better form
  4. #3 Oak Bluffs (5-1): Grinder figures to be coming late – but is there enough pace to get him home?
Lovable Lady

2017 Penn Mile winner Frostmourne. Photo by The Racing Biz.


RACE PARTICULARS: Race 9 (7:45 pm EDT), $500,000 guaranteed purse for 3-year-olds, 1 mile (turf)


  1. Coltandmississippi (8-1): First time on the green stuff for this Pioneerof the Nile colt whose dam was a turf stakes winner; Pletcher generally doesn’t ship without having designs on getting the money, though this one will need to move forward to compete with top runners in here
  2. Encumbered (6-1): First time out this year for this Simon Callaghan trainee, who won his first two starts on the lawn, including the Del Mar Juvenile Turf, before getting throttled in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, finishing 13th after some early trip troubles

  3.  Maraud (5-2): Class of the field owns two graded stakes wins, including sharp last-out score in the G2 American Turf over yielding ground on Derby day; Pletcher keeps Johnny V in the irons for a runner who figures mid-pack early, rolling late

  4.  Therapist (3-1): Lone blemish in five starts on this Christophe Clement trainee’s ledger is a third-place finish, behind #3  here, in the G3 Palm Beach two back; returned to get up late in the Cutler Bay; first start since March 31

  5.  Way Early (10-1): Decent return to action in April when second as the chalk in Big A allowance; lightly raced sort won at first asking, was fourth, behind #4 here, in the Awad last fall with some trip trouble

  6.  Hawkish (5-1): Has won two of three in his career, was fourth, though behind both #3 and #4 here, in the G3 Palm Beach; returned to win an allowance and notably, runner-up from that day cleared first allowance condition next out when beating #5 here; note pilot Irad Ortiz picks #4 here, leaving this runner with Manny Franco up

  7.  Smart Remark (12-1): Messy try last out on the main track in the sloppy Pat Day Mile on the Derby undercard; has been first and third in two turf tries; will need to move forward here

  8. He’s Bankable (6-1): Switch to the lawn has been a productive one for this Mark Casse trainee, who’s won three of four, including a pair of added money events; speedster helpfully drawn outside, figures to gun for the lead and take ‘em as far as he can, and improving form says that could be a long way


  1. #4 Therapist (3-1): Improved effort allows him to turn tables on favorite
  2. #8 He’s Bankable (6-1): Speed of the speed moving in the right direction
  3. #3 Maraud (5-2): Class of the field would be no surprise here
  4. #6 Hawkish (5-1): Most lightly raced contender here still has plenty of upside