06/20/2013 3:40PM

Penn National: Lenape Rim seeks rare turf win in Wiseman’s Ferry HBPA


Trainers Mike Salvaggio and Bernie Houghton will try to repeat successful patterns in a pair of turf stakes restricted to the offspring of Pennsylvania-based stallions Saturday at Penn National.

Salvaggio’s 5-year-old mare Lenape Rim will make her second start of the season while switching from a dirt sprint to a 1 1/16-mile grass route in the $60,000 Wiseman’s Ferry HBPA.

Two races later, the Houghton-trained 9-year-old gelding Saco River returns from a nine-month layoff in the $60,000 Smarty Jones HBPA, which also is scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on grass.

Lenape Rim, who owns a 5-for-5 record on wet surfaces but is a combined 1 for 17 on fast dirt tracks, synthetic, and grass, made her first start of 2013 in the June 1 Silver Train. She finished fourth in that six-furlong dirt sprint, just like she did in her first start of 2012. Last year, Lenape Rim returned to get up by a head in the Lyphard Stakes while racing under the same conditions and distance she gets Saturday evening.

One intriguing challenger is the 3-year-old filly Power of Snunner, whose first six starts have been in dirt sprints. She is trained by Tim Kreiser, who is hitting at a 33 percent clip this season at Penn National. Last year, Kreiser sent out Relay Bill to upset the Capital City at 22-1 in his turf and two-turn debuts.

Whoodoo Meadow merits respect coming from the barn of Jonathan Sheppard while facing restricted company for the first time. Her most recent good race was a victory in a first-level allowance at Tampa Bay Downs in March.

The hardest horse to gauge is the 7-year-old mare Little Often Anni. Last summer, she missed by a head to Lenape Rim in the Lyphard. But in the fall, she was badly beaten while running for a $16,000 tag against statebreds at Parx Racing. She will be coming back a month afer being steadied on the first turn and racing last of 11 throughout a starter allowance at Parx.

In race 5, Saco River will be seeking his 10th turf victory while racing for the first time since September. Last spring, Saco River won off a similar layoff against open-company $25,000 claimers going 1 1/16 miles on turf. He also won his first start of 2010 off an extended break at Atlantic City.

In contrast to Saco River’s success on turf, nine of his 10 rivals in the Smarty Jones have either no wins or one win on grass. The exception is fellow 9-year-old Out in the Reign, who is 2 for 27 on turf and winless in 19 straight races since beating $12,500 statebred starter-allowance foes in September 2010.

Lightning Electric and Jacumba both won their turf debuts last time out while racing for a claiming tag. The Maryland-based 6-year-old Lightning Electric romped by five lengths on yielding ground against nonwinners-of-two-lifetime $20,000 claimers at Pimlico. The 4-year-old Jacumba opened his 2013 campaign June 5 by defeating 11 $12,500 nonwinners-of-three rivals by 1 1/4 lengths at 33-1.