07/01/2004 12:00AM

Distance big issue in Penny


Brazilian import High Court and Boozin' Susan both are proven performers in turf stakes.

There are questions about distance that both have yet to answer, however.

High Court, winner of four in a row, has never raced beyond one mile. Boozin' Susan has been strictly a turf sprint specialist, competing almost exclusively at five and 5 1/2 furlongs.

What will happen when High Court and Boozin' Susan are asked to go 1 1/16 miles in Saturday's $100,000 Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap at Philadelphia Park?

High Court comes into the race with quality credentials. A Group 1 winner in Brazil, she closed strongly to win her United States debut in the one-mile Fort Monmouth on May 30 to raise her career record to 6 for 9.

Her trainer, Michael Matz, is only 2 for 48 with runners making their second start off a layoff the past two seasons, however, and 3 for 19 with horses seeking to win two in a row in a turf stakes since Jan. 1, 2001.

Boozin' Susan, a 5-year-old mare changing barns for the third time since last November, won a minor stakes at Monmouth last September and just missed in the Stravinsky at Keeneland in April. Ordinarily, she would be considered suspect stretching out to 8 1/2 furlongs, but her new trainer is Michael Dickinson and he is 5 for 12 with horses going sprint to route in turf stakes the past three years.

The Bill Mott-trained Delta Princess, the well-traveled Party Queen, and A Queen's Smile are all capable of winning on their best effort.

Delta Princess finished 1 1/2 lengths behind High Court as the 5-2 favorite in the Fort Monmouth and may be due for a peak effort in the third start of her form cycle.

Party Queen, who will be racing at her sixth different track since last June, is a deep closer who requires a swift early pace. She hasn't won in her last seven starts, dating back to March 2003.

A Queen's Smile was competitive in three restricted stakes in Maryland last year and comes into Saturday's race off a sharp win going nine furlongs in an allowance race at Delaware Park.