05/27/2014 12:32PM

Jerardi: Penn Mile Day could top last year’s records

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Tom Keyser
Bobby's Kitten is likely to start in Saturday's $500,000 Penn Mile at Penn National.

Penn National set records in total handle, ontrack handle, and single-race handle in 2013 on the first Penn Mile Day. Given the horses likely to run in the five stakes worth a total of $1 million in purses this Saturday, there is no reason to think it won’t be a big day again.

The $500,000 Penn Mile, for 3-year-olds on grass, is the headliner. It is likely to attract Bobby’s Kitten, third as the favorite to a pair of Euros in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, as well as the one-two finishers in the American Turf on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs. Global View, who will be running for the seventh time at his seventh different track, beat Storming Inti by a neck that day.

Global View was second to Bobby’s Kitten in a Tampa Bay Downs allowance race this year, so the potential top three betting choices have some real quality. Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who lead the owners’ standings in the first Penn Gaming Challenge, have Bobby’s Kitten.

There were 46 nominated to the Mile, which fills a nice spot in the racing calendar and is an excellent lead-in to the summer grass season.

In addition to the Mile, there will be quality races throughout the evening. The five stakes, including the $200,000 Mountainview Handicap, will lead off the card. Last Gunfighter, who won the Excelsior, Pimlico Special, Iselin, and Hawthorne Gold Cup last year in addition to finishing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, is set to make his 2014 debut.

The super-consistent Taptowne, 15 times first or second in 31 lifetime starts and an earner of almost $700,000, is coming. The Mountainview, which got 51 nominations, will be run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

The $150,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup, Penn’s signature race from the time the track opened, drew 39 nominations. The race will be run at five furlongs on grass.

The $100,000 Penn Oaks (one mile on grass for 3-year-old fillies) drew 51 nominations. The stakes will end with the $50,000 Penn Dash.

Streaking at Parx

Fat Kat was purchased for $50,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training last May. She was badly beaten in her February debut. Since then, the 3-year-old filly has been unbeatable for trainer Butch Reid. She has wired three consecutive fields at Parx Racing, winning by a combined 22 1/4 lengths.

Where’s Rosie B is 4 for 4 this year for new trainer Mario Serey Jr. The 5-year-old mare, owned by Michael Jester, won three allowance races before taking the Foxy J.G. Stakes for Pennsylvania-breds on Kentucky Derby Day.

Handsup Moneydown was claimed for $7,500 last October by Ramon Preciado. This year, the horse is 8 for 9 with earnings of $161,440.

Winning one for Dickie

We lost Dickie Small this spring. The great trainer left Lively Times, a horse he owned and bred, to former assistant Dylan Smith.
When Lively Times won the seventh race at Pimlico on Monday, Smith, 25, had her first win as a trainer.
“Dickie would be very happy,” Smith said. “He actually left her to me, so I am really excited to win with her. It would have meant a lot to him.”

Small won 1,199 races in a wonderful career. Following him is not easy.

“There is a great deal of relief to get the first one,” Smith said. “There is a lot of pressure for me to get the horses to run well. It is a big transition going from Dickie to me. I just want to show that I can do it.”

◗ Trainer Jeff Runco has taken his customary spot at the top of the trainers’ standings at Charles Town. Five months into the year, he has started 253 horses, with 53 wins, 49 seconds, 42 thirds, and earnings that just surpass $1 million.

◗ Owner Robert Cole wins all over the Mid-Atlantic, but he is especially hard to beat at Charles Town. His horses are 16 for 35 (46 percent) at the track in 2014.