11/23/2015 1:52PM

Page McKenney one to beat in Swatara Stakes

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Stormin Monarcho will start on Wednesday in the Swatara at Penn National.

Page McKenney is the horse to beat when a competitive field of eight meet in the $100,000 Swatara Stakes at Penn National on Wednesday night. The Swatara is one of two stakes on the Fabulous Strike undercard.

Page McKenney is coming off a sharp, but easy, win in the Richard W. Small Stakes at Laurel Park 11 days ago. Trainer Mary Eppler also considered running him in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup on Saturday or waiting for the $100,000 Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct on Dec. 19.

On Tuesday, Eppler confirmed Page McKenney would start in the Swatara.

“It’s a little quick coming back for him, but he’s doing good, and there aren’t many races left this time of year,” she said. “The morning after his win, he was bright-eyed and looking for more food in his tub.”

Other contenders in the Swatara include Stormin Monarcho, who won last year’s 1 1/16-mile Swatara for trainer David Jacobson. Catron, a lightly raced 5-year-old trained by Todd Pletcher who is seeking his first stakes win; and Kid Cruz who has finished second three races since April for Linda Rice but who hasn’t won since July 2014.

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Page McKenney, who races for Adam Staple and Jalin Stable, has won 10 of 21 starts in 2014-15 and is zeroing in on $1 million in earnings. He has won 12 races, including six stakes since Eppler claimed him for $16,000 in July 2013. He hasn’t finished worse than third in 20 starts dating back to April 2014.

Stormin Monarcho hadn’t shown his best form in several races prior to winning a third-level optional-claiming race going a mile at Belmont Park on Oct. 28. Jacobson put him in for the optional $100,000 claiming price that day. He paid $30 as the longest shot in the six-horse field.

The 103 Beyer Speed Figure he earned in that race was his highest since he won the 2014 Richard W. Small and defeated Page McKenney by 2 3/4 lengths.

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Behrnik’s Bank in Blue Mountain

The $75,000 Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies, a six-furlong race for Pennsylvania-breds, has a field of 10, but it is hard to get by the amazing career debut of Behrnik’s Bank.

Owned and bred by Peter Kazamias and trained by Dimitrios Synnefias, Behrnik’s Bank won a Penn National maiden race on Nov. 4 by 18 1/2 lengths. She covered six furlongs in 1:09.64 and earned an 88 Beyer, 16 points higher than anyone else in the field has run.

Behrnik’s Bank is the fourth foal out of Behrnik, who won 10 of 45 starts while racing almost solely in New York. Kazamias claimed her for $25,000 out of a second-place finish at Belmont in 2006. She finished second in her first start for him and then was retired.

Her first three foals are all multiple winners and have earned between $91,000 and $139,000 each.

The entire Penn National card will be streamed live on DRF.com.