Penn Mile sets new track handle record

Penn National today issued the following press release:

New standards were set on the track and through the mutuel windows for the 11th edition of the $400,000 (Grade 3) Penn Mile last night at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

First World War, owned by Qatar Racing, LLC and Hunter Valley Farm, trained by Brendan Walsh and ridden by Frankie Dettori, won the Penn Mile by the slimmest of noses in a three-horse photo finish with Aspenite and Trikari. The win was the second Grade 3 victory in 2024 for the son of War Front and pushed his lifetime earnings over $500,000. The time of 1:33.50 was the fastest in Penn Mile history.

Dettori made the most of his first visit to Penn National, winning the $150,000 Penn Oaks one race earlier with Poolside With Slim, an Irish bred daughter of Churchill who notched her first stakes win in five lifetime starts for trainer George “Rusty” Arnold. 

On cue, Dettori entertained central Pennsylvania racing fans with his signature flying dismount in the winner’s circle after each victory. The winning time of 1:33.59 was the fastest ever in the ten editions of the Penn Oaks. 

For the third straight year Penn Mile night set an all-time wagering record at Penn National. A total of $5,772,383 was wagered on the 11-race card, an increase of 26% (over $1.2 million) from last year’s record handle. Wagering on the Penn Mile itself was $1,301,374, also a new record.

“This evening was a tremendous moment in the 52 year history of Penn National,” said Director of Racing Operations Eric Johnston.

“The all-time handle record was shattered, we had great representation from local and national horsemen, and to top it off one of racing’s all-time iconic jockeys wins the two big stakes, making it a memorable evening for all who attended.”


Frankie Dettori
Frankie Dettori performed his signature flying dismount after winning the Penn Mile aboard First World War. Photo by Bill Denver/EQUI-Photo.