06/29/2005 11:00PM

Mott and Castillo seek local stakes double

Email

Trainer Bill Mott and jockey Heberto Castillo Jr., who combined to win last weekend's My Juliet Stakes with Ebony Breeze, will be back at Philadelphia Park on Saturday attempting to win another stakes.

Castillo, 2 for 3 riding at Philly Park this year, will ride the Mott-trained My Lordship, a 4-year-old filly who is among six serious contenders in the $100,000 Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap.

The Penny, which will be contested at 1 1/16 miles on turf, drew a field of 14, plus one also-eligible. If the maxiumum 14 run there will be 12 betting interests, including a three-horse mutuel field.

In two starts this season, won the restricted Voodoo Dancer at Belmont Park and finished fourth, beaten only a length, in the Grade 2 Nassau at Woodbine.

The likely favorite is Snowdrops, a 5-year-old trained by Christophe Clement who owns eight turf wins and has earnings of $361,666 on grass. Although she frequently races at longer distances, Snowdrops most recently overcame a troubled start to win Monmouth Park's Politely at the same distance as the Penny.

Jean-Luc Samyn will come in from New York to ride for the first time.

The most intriguing entrant is , a multiple Group 3 winner in France and Germany last year who will be making her first start in the United States. She is trained by Michael Dickinson. Based on her performances in Europe, the 4-year-old Vallera prefers soft turf.

Others with a shot include Krasnaya, third after being unable to find racing room on the final turn of the Fort Monmouth last time out; With Affection, who led until deep stretch of the Politely and came within a neck of winning last year's Grade 3 Martha Washington; and Spring Season, a Jonathan Sheppard-trained mare who ran well in two stakes at Calder and Kentucky Downs last fall.

* Banjo Picker, claimed for $15,000 by trainer Steve Krebs last August, has a big shot to win his first stakes in the $50,000 Lyman Sprint Championship, a seven-furlong race restricted to Pennsylvania-breds.

The 5-year-old Banjo Picker has won 4 of 6 starts since coming to Krebs's barn, and earned a career-best 101 Beyer Speed Figure in his most recent start on May 17.

Other contenders include Nittany Express, a winner of 2 of his last 3 starts while racing at slightly longer distances, and Senor Cielo Two, a recent $25,000 claim who has been first or second in 18 of 33 lifetime starts at Philly Park.