Race Preview: Swatara Stakes - Penn National, November 26, 2013

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Matt Carter

November 27th, 2013

There are four stake races on the Wednesday, November 26 card at Penn National, highlighted by the $250,000 Fabulous Strike Handicap. The six furlong race drew a field of seven, led by morning line favorite Ribo Bobo. Ribo Bobo, owned by Mr Amore Stable, has won nine straight races, six of them since being claimed for $6,250 back in March 2013. The five-year-old gelding has never been better, but must run lights out again to defeat Ben's Cat, winner of the Fabulous Strike last year. Ribo Bobo will play come and get me.

One race prior to the Fabulous Strike is the Swatara for three-year-olds and upward going eight and one-half furlongs on the main track. A field of ten was drawn for the $150,000 race and contention runs deep.

The morning line favorite for the race at 3-1 is the Clovertown Farm owned Taptowne, who scratched out of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile earlier this month and is making his Penn National debut. The grey gelding has been in-the-money in 16 of his 28 career starts including a pair of seconds in graded stake races. He will once again be out on the engine early.

Edge of Reality is the second choice on the line and is another front-runner in the race. Tony Dutrow trains for The Elkstone Group LLC with Frankie Pennington in the irons. Three starts back he won the Grade 3 Smarty Jones at Parx over a sloppy track and with the expected weather, it could be a track to his liking.

The two horses that the expected fast pace benefits are Norman Asbjornson and Suns Out Guns Out.

Norman Asbjorson is making his sixth career start at Penn National, his last two were second place finishes in the Mountainview Handicap in June to Easter Gift and in the Swatara last year to the Todd Pletcher-trained San Pablo. The five-year-old Real Quiet ridgling is owned by Thomas McClay and Harry Nye with Carlos Mancilla the trainer, Clinton Potts has the call.

The last win for Suns Out Guns Out came wire-to-wire, but that was in a race where he was much the best. His previous win came from off the pace and with post ten, jockey Joe Rocco should let the colt settle early and make one run late. Suns Out Guns Out, trained by Dale Romans for West Point Thoroughbreds, finished fourth in the Grade 2 Breeders' Cup Marathon in his last start.

Saratoga Snacks is 5-1 on the morning line and could start at a shorter price than that. The NY-bred has won seven of his 10 career starts, six of them coming against state-breds. This is only the second time the August Dawn Farm's colt has run in an open race, but he looks to have the form to compete. Jockey Joel Rosario should be sitting in the second flight and will get first jump on the leaders turning for home. Rosario will need to finish strong to overtake Taptown and hold off the closers.

First post on Wednesday is 6:00 pm, which is the Blue Mountain Juvenile for two-year-old, Pennsylvania-bred fillies. The Blue Mountain starts the all-stakes pick-4, which also includes the Lady In Waiting as well as the above mentioned stakes.