PENN OAKS TOPS PENN MILE UNDERCARD
The return of the $100,000 Penn Oaks tops Friday’s Penn Mile undercard at Penn National Race Course. The Oaks, like the Mile, took a one-year hiatus in 2020 with the purse account depleted because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the seven sophomore fillies are approaching this race from a variety of places, having made their most recent starts at five different racetracks, there’s one thing they all have in common: all will be in search of their first stakes win.
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The 7-5 morning line favorite in the one-mile turf test is Honey Pants, from the powerful Christophe Clement barn. Clement has not previously won the Oaks, but he did win the 2017 Penn Mile, with Frostmourne.
Honey Pants, a daughter of Cairo Prince, has a win from six starts. She’s run second in two stakes, was second last out in a Gulfstream Park allowance, and has recorded earnings of $91,205. John Velazquez will ride.
Odds-wise, her main competition figures to be the Michael Maker-trained Amalfi Princess, who’s 2-1. She’s Grade 3-placed on the main track but is winless in three tries on the lawn. Kendrick Carmouche is up.
Parx-based trainer John Servis is scheduled to send out the undefeated Midnight Obsession, who’s 4-1 on the morning line. The daughter of Overanalyze won at Parx at first asking by over five lengths and most recently was a one-length winner in an allowance at Belmont Park. Both starts, however, came on the main track, and she’ll make her first turf try here. Joe Bravo will ride.
Midnight Obsession is cross-entered in the Lyphard, where she’s 5-2 on the morning line.
The only other Oaks runner with single-digit odds is the Mike Trombetta trainee Do You Love Me (8-1). She’s won once in four career starts, all on synthetic, at Turfway and Presque Isle Downs. She’s an English Channel filly, which suggests she may like the lawn, and is showing three works over the Laurel Park turf. Julian Pimentel is up.
One other runner worth a look is Tic Tic Tic Boom (15-1). The Alan Bedard trainee finished third in a trio of turf stakes as a two-year-old but has not started since December. Vladimir Diaz will ride.
The card also offers two stakes for Pennsylvania-breds, both also scheduled for turf. Mike Maker is slated to send out the favorite in both: Ujjayi (9-5) In the $100,000 Lyphard, for older fillies and mares, and Someday Jones (3-1) In the $100,000 With Anticipation, for three-year-olds and up.