When the Penn Mile Stakes was first introduced in 2013, the goal was to attract top 3-year-old turf horses from around the country, particularly from the New York, Kentucky and Mid-Atlantic horse racing circuits.

This year, eight such colts are entered to race Friday in the ninth edition of the $400,000 guaranteed Grade 2 Penn Mile Stakes at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. It’s the signature race of the Grantville track, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Two of the likely favorites are shipping in from the barns of well-known New York-based Racing Hall of Fame trainers, Todd Pletcher and Shug McGaughey.

Bass Racing LLC’s Annapolis, a Grade 2 winner at age 2, is the 9-to-5 morning-line favorite, trained by Pletcher. The Kentucky-bred War Front colt took the Grade 2 Pilgrim Stakes last October at Belmont Park and appeared on his way to compete in the $1 million Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar. However, the colt was forced to the sidelines after bone chips were detected in a hind ankle.

Pletcher has prepared Annapolis for his return with a steady series of winter workouts in Florida and more recently at Belmont Park. Annapolis breezed five furlongs in 1:02 over the Belmont turf course May 22, the fastest of 14 workouts at the distance that day. Three-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. will travel from New York to ride.

Fort Washington, the 7-to-2 third choice, is McGaughey’s entrant and was supplemented into the race by owners Allen Stable, Inc. and Peter M. Brant for $6,500. Fort Washington is also a Kentucky-bred War Front colt with a win, two seconds and three third-place finishes in six lifetime starts. The colt most recently finished second in the April 23 Woodhaven Stakes at Aqueduct. Jockey Flavien Prat will also commute from the Big Apple to take the mount.

Maryland-based Uncaptured Spirit could be a colt who jumps up and surprises this field at morning line odds of 10-to-1. The Florida-bred Uncaptured colt is 2-for-8 lifetime but contested a lively early pace before fading to fourth in the May 21 James W. Murphy at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard. Angel Suarez retains the mount for trainer Mark Shuman and owners TAG Stables, LLC.

Ohtwothreefive (8-1), Wow Whata Summer (12-1) and Noneedtoworry (20-1) round out the field.

Five supporting stakes races are on Friday’s Penn Mile undercard, including the $150,000 Penn Oaks, at one mile on the turf for 3-year-old fillies. Four $100,000 races restricted to Pennsylvania-breds – the Lyphard and With Anticipation going long on the turf and the Danzig and New Start for dirt sprinters – round out the stakes action.

The first race post time Friday is 5 p.m., one hour earlier than usual. Fans in attendance will receive free admission and parking. Concessions from food trucks will be available on the track apron, along with musical entertainment and giveaways.

The field for the Penn Mile Stakes, in post-position order with jockey, trainer and morning line odds. Penn Mile post time is approximately 7:45 p.m.

  1. Annapolis, Irad Ortiz, Jr., Todd Pletcher. 9-5
  2. Wow Whata Summer, Tyler Conner, James Lawrence 12-1
  3. Uncaptured Spirit, Angel Suarez, Mark Shuman, 10-1
  4. Ohtwoohthreefive, Kendrick Carmouche, George Weaver, 8-1
  5. Noneedtoworry, Silvestre Gonzalez, Herold Wylie, 20-1
  6. Witty, Carol Cedeno, McLane Hendricks, 12-1
  7. Red Danger, Paco Lopez, Brian Lynch, 5-2
  8. Fort Washington, Flavien Prat, Shug McGaughey, 7-2

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Cover Photo Credit to Mark Pynes

Original Source Credited to pennlive.com

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