Favorite Tale, Page McKenney popular winners at Penn National
Favorite Tale shook off the pressing Amelia's Wild Ride approaching the eighth pole and stormed clear to win the $200,000 Fabulous Strike H. at Penn National by two lengths on Thanksgiving eve Wednesday night.
The 1-2 favorite under Javier Castellano, Favorite Tale set splits of :22.05 and :45.19 while leading by a half-length over Amelia's Wild Ride, and then drew away from that foe to win in a time of 1:11 for six furlongs on a fast track. He paid $3.
Majestic Hussar, an 87-1 longshot coming off an allowance win at Laurel, edged 56-1 outsider Galiana, the only female in the field, by a neck for the place. Amelia's Wild Ride faded to fourth, while the venerable Maryland-bred gelding Ben's Cat, seeking his fourth consecutive Fabulous Strike victory, was never involved and finished seventh.
Owned by PJG Stable and trained by Guadalupe Preciado, the four-year-old Favorite Tale was winning for the third time in seven outings this year. He was the established class of the field having captured the Smile Sprint H. (G2) at Gulfstream Park in July with subsequent placings in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (G1) and Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1).
One race earlier, in the $100,000 Swatara for older horses, Page McKenney captured his second stakes in the span of 12 days with a half-length decision over Kid Cruz. The 3-2 favorite, Page McKenney completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.08 under Horacios Karamanos.
Grade 3 veteran Kid Cruz, the second choice at 2-1, made a solid rally up the inside after trailing early, but was no match late. He finished two lengths clear of third choice Catron.
Owned by Adam Staple and Jalin Stable, Page McKenney was coming off an easy win in the $100,000 Richard W. Small at Laurel on November 14. The Eavesdropper gelding also scored in the $100,000 John B. Campbell H. and $99,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial at Laurel earlier in the year, as well as the $87,000 Robellino on the Penn National turf in August.
Trained by Mary Eppler, Page McKenney hung tough in graded company this year as well, placing in the Charles Town Classic (G2), Pimlico Special (G3), and Prairie Meadows Cornhusker H. (G3).