Frankie went to Hollywood (and won)

First World War-Penn Mile
First World War got his nose down in time to win the G3 Penn Mile. Photo by Bill Denver/EQUI-Photo.

Frankie went to Hollywood Friday – Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, that is. And he liked it just fine.

Frankie Dettori, the 53-year-old, Italian-born jockey whose resume includes more than 280 Grade or Group 1 victories, made his first visit to Grantville a productive one, riding two and winning two. Among them was the day’s biggest prize: the $400,000, Grade 3 Penn Mile, which he won aboard First World War in a three-way thriller.

Dettori also scored in the $150,000 Penn Oaks, for sophomore fillies, on the Irish-bred Poolside With Slim.

Trained by Brendan Walsh for Qatar Racing LLC and Hunter Valley Farm, First World War, a three-year-old War Front colt, entered the Penn Mile with a solid resume that included a win in the Grade 3 Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park February 3. He was, at 3.40-1, the third choice in the field of nine.

Dettori had his mount in mid-flight early and never far off the early tempo. Set, with Emisael Jaramillo up, established the early advantage, tugging the field through a half-mile in a sharp 46.31 seconds and three quarters in 1:09.56. Post time favorite Trikari, last out upset winner of the Grade 2 American Turf, was Set’s nearest pursuer at both calls and put his head in front in mid-stretch.

Longshot Aspenite (17-1), with Cristian Torres up, slipped through inside to challenge for supremacy. But First World War, initially seeming to drop back, finally kicked in and closed sharply outside to put his nose down first, with Aspenite second, a neck better than Trikari.

Running time for one mile on firm turf was 1:33.50 – not far off the course record of 1:33.12 set by Thunder Brew in 2010.

First World War paid $8.80 to win and topped an exacta that returned $46.50 for a one-dollar wager. He now has three wins and a shade over $500,000 in earnings from seven career starts.

The prior race, the Penn Oaks, presented a similar picture. Dettori and Poolside With Slim stalked the pace from mid-flight, never more than two back, surged clear in mid-stretch, and had just enough to hold off the late bid of Nice as Pie, with Umberto Rispoli up. Running time for the mile was 1:33.59.

Poolside With Slim is trained by Rusty Arnold for Glenn Bromagen, Sandra Bromagen, and Patrick Lewis. Off as the favorite, she returned $5.60 to win and now has two wins and earnings of $149,075 from five starts.

Other stakes winners on the evening:

  • Stern Chaser with Paco Lopez up for Michael Matz, in the $100,000 Lyphard for Pennsyvlania-breds;
  • Fierce and Strong (Julio Hernandez/Michael Salvaggio) in the $100,000 With Anticipation, also for PA-breds;
  • Get Set (Jaime Rodriguez/Jamie Ness) in the $50,000 Fabulous Strike; and
  • New Hire (Tyler Conner/Erin McClellan) in the $50,000 Penn Ladies Dash.