06/01/2017 1:16PM

Matt King Coal heads deep field in Mountainview

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Matt King Coal will be among the favorites in Saturday's $200,000 Mountainview Stakes.

The $200,000 Mountainview Stakes on Saturday at Penn National will match the improving runners Matt King Coal and Virtual Machine against the proven veteran Madefromlucky and the always tough 7-year-old Page McKenney. The Mountainview, a 1 1/8-mile main-track race, immediately precedes the card’s feature race, the Grade 2 Penn Mile.

At age 4, Matt King Coal is living up to the potential he flashed at 2 and 3. He was run down by horse-for-the-course Imperative and beaten a neck in the $1.25 million Charles Town Classic last time out over a sloppy track. He came into the Classic on a two-race win streak.

Matt King Coal, who is 4 for 9 in his career, is being judiciously spotted in his races by trainer Linda Rice.

“I’m trying to find races that I think he can win and where we can make some money with him, hopefully spots where we can keep him moving forward,” Rice said.

Virtual Machine and Matt King Coal both have speed but also can be rated. They may find themselves on the front end in the Mountainview, along with longshot Discreet Lover.

Irad Ortiz Jr. will be aboard Matt King Coal. Chris DeCarlo rides Virtual Machine.

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Page McKenney has had a start-and-stop season since returning from a nine-month layoff in January. He won the Native Dancer at Laurel Park in his comeback and then finished second after a difficult trip in the John B. Campbell in February.

He bruised a heel after that race but came back in April to win the seven-furlong Lyman for Pennsylvania-breds at Parx Racing. He is better suited by the longer Mountainview distance.

Page McKenney, a winner of 18 races and $1.5 million who is trained by Mary Eppler, is 2 for 4 at Penn National. He won the statebred Robellino and open Swatara there in 2015.

“He’s coming into the race real good,” Eppler said. “I expect him to run his race. He always does, doesn’t he?”

Horacio Karamanos, who has ridden Page McKenney in 16 straight races, has the mount.

Madefromlucky has not won in 10 starts dating back to the 2015 West Virginia Derby, but he has run some good races against tough company. Trainer Todd Pletcher will equip him with blinkers for this race. He previously wore blinkers for six races as a 2-year-old and 3-year-old.

The 11-race card also includes three $100,000 stakes for Pennsylvania-breds.

In the New Start, a six-furlong race for statebred 3-year-old fillies, undefeated Rose Tree will attempt to win her fourth race, all for trainer Jonathan Sheppard. Andrew Wolsont will be back aboard.

Trainer Gary Mandella sends in Grand Prix from California. Grand Prix is 1 for 9 but earned an 83 Beyer Speed Figure – the highest in this field – last time out. Javier Castellano rides.

The Danzig will match five 3-year-old males at six furlongs. Owner-trainer Mick Ruis sends in The Critical Way off a winning debut race at Santa Anita. Trainer Eddie Colletti Jr. has Midtowncharlybrown, who in April earned a race-high 89 Beyer winning a Penn National allowance race.

The Lyphard, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares, could come down to Royal Renege, who is trained by Elizabeth Merryman, and Firsthand Report, who will be stretching out in distance and switching to turf following a Parx allowance win for Pletcher.

Royal Renege won the 2015 Lyphard and finished third in it a year ago.