05/29/2014 3:32PM

Brown has speedy pair for Penn Mile

Tom Keyser
Trainer Chad Brown will start Bobby's Kitten, along with stablemate Storming Inti, in Saturday's Penn Mile at Penn National.

Since his debut at Saratoga, Bobby’s Kitten has been one of those charismatic horses who can turn heads in the morning and empty wallets in the afternoon.

Bobby’s Kitten was the 13-10 favorite in his career debut and lost. He has been favored in all six of his starts and has lost three of them. Bobby’s Kitten has brilliance and substance. His problem has been excessive exuberance in racing, and he will need to let Javier Castellano push his off button Saturday night to win the Penn Mile at Penn National.

Bobby’s Kitten, said trainer Chad Brown, goes about his morning training straightforwardly, but put him in a race, and the colt wants to run through walls. Bobby’s Kitten speed-dueled himself into a third-place finish last fall in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and faded to 12th – albeit on a synthetic surface he disliked – after fighting Castellano last month in the Blue Grass Stakes.

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“Horses like this, they can challenge you,” Brown said.

Bobby’s Kitten will have seven opponents, including stablemate Storming Inti, when he tries to score his fourth win in the second edition of the Penn Mile. The $500,000 turf race came into existence last year and immediately found a niche. Won in 2013 by Rydilluc, this year’s edition attracted four upper-crust 3-year-old grass horses in the Brown-trained pair, Global View, and Divine Oath.

The Penn Mile, race 4 with post time scheduled for 7:31 p.m. Eastern, follows three other six-figure stakes: the Penn Oaks, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup, and the Mountainview Handicap.

Storming Inti, Brown’s second entrant, also is a front-runner, and the last thing Brown wants is an early battle of stablemates, but Storming Inti has been more tractable than Bobby’s Kitten and is drawn outside him.

“Bobby’s Kitten is more likely to be in front of the other horse,” Brown said. “Storming Inti is a little more agreeable if you need to rate him.”

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Bobby’s Kitten, a Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred by Kitten’s Joy, has won twice on the lead and once when he tracked the pace with a clear outside trip. Making his turf debut, front-runner Laddie Boy is drawn just inside of Bobby’s Kitten and could challenge him early. If not, Bobby’s Kitten, if he’s willing, could slow the pace enough to give both himself and the tracking Storming Inti a favorable setup.

Faster fractions work in favor of the other two obvious Penn Mile players, Global View and Divine Oath. Global View finished second to Bobby’s Kitten in a Tampa Bay Downs allowance race this year, chasing to no avail through a moderate tempo, and beat Storming Inti on May 3, closing strongly to win the American Turf. That race came over 1 1/16 miles, and Global View needs pace help to get up running one mile.

“Sure, I’d prefer it to be a little longer, but the race is called the Penn Mile,” trainer Tom Proctor said.

Divine Oath, trained by Todd Pletcher, most recently finished second in the Lexington Stakes over the Keeneland Polytrack after winning his first two starts, both on turf. Divine Oath displayed a good turn of foot in his grass races, both over 7 1/2 furlongs at Gulfstream, and has the foundation to move forward Saturday with the right trip.

Like Laddie Boy, Coastline, Mr Brioni, and the hopeless longshot Sing the Dream all are making their first grass start.