Pennsylvania’s six race tracks are all up and running offering live racing at the three thoroughbred and three harness tracks in the state. Scheduled for June 2, 2023, the year’s main event at Penn National Race Course is the running of the $400,000 Grade 2 Penn Mile. The race, for 3-year-olds on the turf, is one of 6 stakes on the eleven-race evening card. Post time is 5 P.M. for the night of top-notch racing that includes 4 Pennsylvania-bred stakes and 4 turf races.

Photo Credit to Kim Pratt

“The Penn Mile is our premier event, and we are pleased to attract the best of the best in racing since the inaugural running of the race in 2013,” stated Eric Johnston, director of racing operations for Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. “We have had multiple graded stakes winners run in the race, and Bobby’s Kitten won the race in 2014 and went on that year to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. There is lots of competition right now because all the tracks are open in the Northeast, but we are fortunate to attract the top horses, trainers, and jockeys for the Penn Mile. This year, for added flair, NBC’s race caller for the Breeders’ Cup and Kentucky Derby and Preakness, Larry Collmus will be calling the stakes races. We also have a guaranteed Pick 5 pay out. The purses for the day total over $1 million, so it should be a great night of racing,” added Johnston.

Photo Credit to Kim Pratt

Entries for the Grade 2 Penn Mile include the two early favorites, Major Dude and Candidate. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Major Dude, the well-bred son of Bolt d’Oro, won this year’s Grade 3 Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park and has earned over $400,000 in his career. Candidate is trained by Arnaud Delacour and was second to Major Dude in this year’s Kitten’s Joy Stakes. Other entries include three PA-breds, Movisitor, Fletcher, and Upstate and Back. Stakes placed Tuskegee Airmen, trained by Parx trainer, John Servis, is also part of the eight horse field. “I never ran him on the turf, and I always wanted to because he has a nice big foot, and I think he should handle the turf,” said Servis. “I’m running four horses that night. I got Huntingcoco in March from Baffert in California. She’s a PA-bred, so he thought he would send her to PA to run with PA-breds. She’s running in the New Start Stakes for fillies going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Peach Perfect never ran on the turf either, but we think she will like it. Why not give it a try?”

The four Pennsylvania-bred stakes on the card are the New Start Stakes for 3 year old fillies on the dirt at 6 furlongs, purse $100,000, the With Anticipation for 3 year olds and up on the turf going 11/16th mile, purse $100,000, the Lyphard Stakes for fillies 3 years old and up on the turf at 11/16th mile, purse $100,000, and the Danzig Stakes on the dirt for 3 year olds, purse $100,000. Also on the card is the Penn Oaks for three year old fillies on the turf, purse $150,000.

Photo Credit to Kim Pratt

Parx trainer, Eddie Coletti, Jr. plans to run 3 year old Keithsendshelloooo in the Danzig Stakes that night. “I had this race in mind for my horse all along. I was aiming for this race, so I freshened him up during the winter, and he’s back training now. He’s doing great, and I hope he runs as good as he did last year. The races on Penn Mile day are a great venue for Pennsylvania-breds. It’s a night to display and showcase our talented young PA-breds and participate in the lucrative incentive program we have in the state,” explained Coletti. A son of Uptowncharlybrown and owned and bred by the Uptowncharlybrown Stud LLC, Keithsendshelloooo is one of the early favorites along with Gordian Knot in the seven horse field.

Beginning at 4:30P.M., Larry Collmus, NBC’s sports’ announcer, will be on hand to meet fans and welcome them to an exciting night of top class racing that includes turf specialists, graded-stakes winners, Pennsylvania’s finest, and Hall of Fame trainers and jockeys.


Cover Photo Credit to Kim Pratt

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