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Homeracing

How to Bet the 2019 Penn Mile Stakes

Profile Picture: Dick Powell

May 30th, 2019

The $500,000 Penn Mile Stakes (G2) will be run as Race 11 at Penn National on Saturday afternoon. Contested at one mile on the turf course, it attracted a field of nine three-year-olds. Central Pennsylvania has had heavy rain all week and, even if it is sunny on Saturday, the turf course figures to be way less than firm. FREE Penn Mile PPs courtesy of Brisnet.com! MOON COLONY (#1) (12-1) broke his maiden at Keeneland the first time he tried soft turf and then raced evenly going two turns on the dirt at Churchill Downs. The son of Uncle Mo (15 percent turf winners) came back with an allowance win on the quirky turf course at Fair Grounds before he was beaten two lengths in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park when stuck behind a slow pace. A THREAD OF BLUE (#2) (5-2) is a speedball who won the Palm Beach Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park two back and just missed in the American Turf Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, where he led until deep stretch. He does have some experience on yielding turf and is definitely bred to go a lot farther than a mile so the testing conditions might still suit him. CASA CREED (#3) (6-1) won the Kitten’s Joy over Moon Colony while making his turf debut, but performed poorly next out in the Dania Beach Stakes. He could not run down a loose-on-the-lead A Thread of Blue in the Palm Beach and raced wide most recently when finishing ninth in the American Turf. All of his turf races came on firm ground so the Jimmy Creed colt’s ability on softer turf is a mystery. REAL NEWS (#4) (5-1) won his turf debut in a Fair Grounds sprint before finishing second in the Palisades Turf Sprint Stakes going the same distance at Keeneland behind Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner Bulletin. The son of The Factor stretched out to two turns most recently in Pimlico’s James W. Murphy Stakes on the Preakness Stakes (G1) undercard and was a good second after trying to set all the fractions. FORTY UNDER (#5) (7-2) broke his maiden in his turf debut going two turns at Saratoga last August before capturing the Pilgrim Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park on yielding ground. He tired in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) on a slippery turf course at Churchill Downs in his juvenile finale, but came back with a good second in Aqueduct’s Woodhaven Stakes on April 20 over yielding ground again. THE BLACK ALBUM (#6) (15-1) won a French Group 3 at Longchamp last September over soft ground but ran poorly in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) while making his U.S. debut. The Wootton Bassett colt came back this year with a good third in the Transylvania Stakes (G3) at Keeneland but could not overcome post 12 last out at Churchill Downs in the American Turf. The softer the turf course, the better his chances. EMPIRE OF WAR (#7) (9-2) overcame post 11 to win his turf debut at Belmont Park last October and followed up by scoring in the Awad Stakes over Aqueduct’s yielding ground. After a well-beaten fourth in the Central Park Stakes to finish up last season, he returned with a third in the Woodhaven Stakes, once again on Aqueduct’s yielding turf. By Declaration of War, the half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Separation of Powers should be fit second off the layoff. CONATIVE (#8) (20-1) broke his maiden second time out going two turns on Fair Grounds’ turf. For some reason, he had two starts on the dirt this year before running second on the synthetic at Arlington Park. He is from the first crop of Noble Mission, a full brother to Frankel who is off to a good start. FLUMINENSE (#9) (10-1) has only had one turf start, which resulted in a third on yielding turf in the Soaring Free Stakes going six furlongs at Woodbine. He did nothing in the Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (G1) around two turns at Keeneland to conclude his juvenile campaign in October but returned seven months later to score on Churchill Downs’ dirt going six furlongs in fast time against allowance rivals. He is by top turf sire More Than Ready and out of a dam by Elusive Quality, who set the world record for a mile on the turf. ANALYSIS Empire of War has a stakes win going this distance on yielding turf at Aqueduct. Off for five months, he should show marked improvement second off the break and drawing a bit outside might not be a bad thing for the Declaration of War colt, who gets Trevor McCarthy aboard for the first time. WAGERS Win #7 Exacta Box #7 with #2, #5, #6 PHOTO: Empire of War wins the Awad Stakes at Aqueduct under jockey Manny Franco on November 4, 2018 (c) Adam Coglianese Photography/NYRA

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