04/17/2013 4:18PM

Aqueduct: Easter Gift pointing to Mountainview Handicap at Penn National

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Barbara Weidl/Equi-Photo
Easter Gift has gotten his last three victories in races around two turns.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Easter Gift has already shown an affinity for the racing surface at Parx Racing. Now, the New York-based 4-year-old colt will try to transfer that form across the state to Penn National.

Easter Gift, winner of a stakes-caliber allowance race at Parx on Tuesday, will most likely make his next start in the $250,000 Mountainview Handicap at Penn National on June 1, trainer Chad Brown said Wednesday.

“The timing of that race makes a lot of sense to me,” Brown said by phone Wednesday from Kentucky, where he is overseeing the training of Derby candidate Normandy Invasion. “I just spoke to Jon Panagot, the racing manager for Mr. [Robert] LaPenta and we penciled that in and we’ll see how the horse is doing.”

The Mountainview is at 1 1/8 miles run around two turns. Easter Gift has recorded his last three victories in races run around two turns.

“In his last two races for us, both wins, it seemed like he was definitely better from off the pace, settling and making that one run,” Brown said. “He continues to improve and seems like he’s rounding back into his best form again from when he was a 3-year-old.”

Nick Zito trained Easter Gift at 3, and the colt won the Grade 3 Smarty Jones at Parx.

Tuesday, back at Parx in a field that included 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice as well as two stakes winners from trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn, Easter Gift rallied from last to win by 3 1/2 lengths. He ran a mile in 1:36.69 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 95.

Ruler On Ice finished fourth, beaten seven lengths.

“He’ll live to fight another day,” trainer Kelly Breen said. “It wasn’t his day, it wasn’t his racetrack, it wasn’t his distance. I wish he had run better, but we’ll use it as a tune-up for something else.”

Mike Lee More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the update on Easter Gift!...have liked this colt since I first saw him at Parx winning the Smarty Jones.His win yesterday was very impressive,and it seems like moving forward... the sky is the limit for this son of Hard Spun!