06/30/2012 2:05PM

Parx Racing: Pinch Pie finds richer spot in Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap

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Barbara D. Livingston
Pinch Pie is among the favorites for the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap at Parx Racing.

Trainer Tony Dutrow has been picky about where he runs his Grade 1-placed filly Pinch Pie this season. Since mid-May, Pinch Pie was entered and scratched from graded stakes three times, most recently in Saturday’s Grade 3 Eatontown Handicap at Monmouth Park, where she was the 7-2 second choice on the track’s morning line.

Dutrow appears to have a found a richer race more to his liking Tuesday at Parx Racing, where he has spotted Pinch Pie for the Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap. Although both the Eatontown and the Penny are Grade 3 turf races for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles, the Penny is worth $250,000, compared to the $100,000 purse of the stakes at Monmouth.

By running in suburban Philadelphia, the 4-year-old Pinch Pie also avoided a rematch with Ruthenia, the filly who beat her by a length in the Grade 3 Violet on May 28.

“Pinch Pie went into the Violet at her very best, and I also think she may very well have run the best race of her life that day,” Dutrow said. “We were simply second best. [Ruthenia] outkicked us and beat us on the square.”

Pinch Pie earned a career-best 88 Beyer Speed Figure in the Violet, one point more than the Beyer she was awarded for finishing third on dirt in last summer’s Grade 1 Alabama and two points better than the figure she got for winning her first start this season in a third-level optional $80,000 claimer at Gulfstream Park in late March.

Javier Castellano, who was aboard for the Gulfstream victory, comes in to ride Pinch Pie. They will break from post 8 in Tuesday’s nine-horse field.

Pinch Pie is the co-highweight at 118 pounds with the New York-bred 5-year-old mare Gitchee Goomie. Based at Aqueduct with trainer Rick Violette, Gitchee Goomie is following the same pattern as last year, when she won the one-mile Mount Vernon for New York-breds and finished second in the Penny, which was elevated to Grade 3 status for the first time this year.

Prior to winning this season’s Mount Vernon with an 88 Beyer, Gitchee Goomie finished second in the Grade 3 Beaugay.

The field also includes a pair of 4-year-old former European fillies, Laughing and Julie’s Love.

Laughing, based in New Jersey with Alan Goldberg, began her career in Ireland. She most recently finished third in the Grade 3 Gallorette at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard.

Julie’s Love, trained by Graham Motion, raced in Germany and France last season, missing by a nose in a Group 2 event. She is 2 for 2 in the United States and will be stepping up in class for the Penny.

Clare Skies Ahead, a deep closer, outran her 16-1 odds to miss by a neck last time out in the Grade 3 All Along at Colonial Downs.