Updated on 12/22/2012 12:01PM

Penn National: Newly created $500K Penn Mile for 3-year-olds to be held in June

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Penn National Race Course will hold a $500,000 race for 3-year-olds going a mile on the turf on the first Saturday in June this year, the richest race the Pennsylvania racetrack has ever carded, the track announced on Tuesday.

The $500,000 Penn Mile is part of a three-stakes card on June 1 that will also include the $250,000 Mountainview Handicap for 3-year-olds and older going 1 1/8 miles and the $150,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup for 3-year-olds and older at five furlongs on the turf.

Penn National, located in Grantville, Penn., has never been a regular destination for high-quality horses, but many racetracks that are heavily subsidized by slot machines and other casino revenues, such as Penn National, have recently created high-dollar stakes races in order to attract horses to their facilities and gain attention in the simulcast market.

“We are very excited to offer an opportunity for some of the best 3-year-olds to showcase their ability on our turf course in the inaugural Penn Mile,” said Dan Silver, the track’s director of racing operations, in a statement. “It is a good spot on the calendar to offer a premier turf mile race for 3-year-olds.”

According to Silver, the richest races previously held at Penn National have been the Governor’s Cup, which had a purse of $200,000 from 2009 to 2012, and the Fabulous Strike, which had a $200,000 purse in 2012.

The card will take place one week before the Belmont Stakes, the 1 1/2-mile race for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park in New York that is the final leg of the Triple Crown. The Belmont Stakes card in 2013 will feature four other stakes.

Penn is also planning on holding a three-stakes card on Nov. 15, featuring the $250,000 Fabulous Strike Handicap, for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs; the $150,000 Lady in Waiting, for fillies and mares going six furlongs; and the $150,000 Swatara, for 3-year-olds and older going 1 1/16 miles.

The six races comprise the entirety of Penn National’s open stakes. Track officials said that they would announce the stakes schedule for races restricted to Pennsylvania-breds at a later date.

Elijah Allison More than 1 year ago
needs to be graded!!!!
Tekov Yahoser More than 1 year ago
Penn National? With their criminally high takeout on exotics? Pass. No wait, I'll just end them a check. That way I save a couple of bucks on Trackmaster Pro forms...
Tekov Yahoser More than 1 year ago
"Send them a check."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would rather see the 3 year olds go a 10f for half a mill. Good step for the Arlington Million.
russell More than 1 year ago
What a waste of money. Reduce the takeout instead.
Wilford Brimley More than 1 year ago
In response to the post about the Colonial Turf Cup: it brings up an interesting point. At that point in the season, "good" 3 year old turf horses aren't exactly in the national spotlight (competing in lower-level turf stakes or running on dirt). A three-year old restricted turf race with a $500k purse may attract a number of emerging stars, certainly a few "good horses". It's not a bad idea. But does the purse need to be that big? Perhaps they want to get it graded ASAP, and a monster purse would surely help. But if they want to attract top-notch NY-based connections, $250k is probably enough.
PennNatRick More than 1 year ago
I am all about the $500K Penn Mile race. It will bring good horses to Grantville for the purse money. However, the bigger focus is that Penn along with the other PA tracks need to reduce their takeout rates. If they want bettors to play these races..the takeouts need a serious reduction. 28.5 trifectas and 27.5 superfectas rates kills people wanting to play.
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
The Colonial Turf Cup used to be for three year olds in June but they changed it to three year olds and up because they couldn't get a field worthy of the purse. That race was $600,000 yet no good horses ever really ran in it.
Timothy Wheelster More than 1 year ago
how would you define a good horse? I would define a good horse as being as athletic as I am sexy! Obviously you have lost money on this race before, otherwise you would not be so negative.
Frank More than 1 year ago
Cecil: right on -- we need to keep the horses bred for turf on the turf (i.e. Optimizer). Great idea for 3yr turf race. Nothing beats turf racing!
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
Except for dirt racing that is. Want turf racung? Go to Europe. American horses are bred for dirt not turf. American turf horses are failed dirt horses. This ungraded Penn national race will do nothing to keep horses off the TC trail.
Timothy Wheelster More than 1 year ago
Learn to spell idiot. I think horses will run in this race instead of the Belmont and the field for the Belmont will only be a few horses.
Frank More than 1 year ago
I like ignorant betters like you who dont understand or know how to bet turf races. Thats what makes the odds better in turf races (as well as larger fields). I pretty much only bet turf races now because of people like you that think the way you do about turf racing in america. Keep showing up brandon you help my odds!
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
I think this is a great idea. There are not enough grass races for 3-yr olds with big purses. Hopefully this will help to keep some of the potential grass stars off the triple crown trail. This could pair well with the Virginia Derby in July and the Secretariat at Arlington in August. Make it a turf triple crown.
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
Ever heard of the " Grand Slam of Grass"? It was supposed to be a turf series for three year olds but it failed because nobody cared.
Timothy Wheelster More than 1 year ago
Never heard of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The "Grand Slam of Grass" was a turf series that used to begin In June with the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup, then it was the Virginia Derby, then the Secretariat and ended with the Breeders Cup Turf. At least one poser and mean poster on here has never even heard of it. It never really picked up much steam. They ultimately changed the CTC to a 3 year old and up race.
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
There needs to be a big two turn race for three year olds on dirt between the Belmont and Haskell. They should use that $500,000 on a 1 1/8 mile race on the Fourth of July.
Frank More than 1 year ago
Yea cause there is not enough dirt races. WTF!
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
There is a huge void in the 3 year old dirt calendar between the Belmont and Haskell. There's also the Virginia Derby on turf for three year olds around this time. This will just take horses away from that race.
tom More than 1 year ago
well don't forget the dwyer usually thats' a prep for the haskell or jim dandy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not really. The race this takes away horses from is the race for 3YO's run on Preakness weekend at Pimlico. Makes no sense now to run a good grass horse on that card in an ungraded, inexpensive race instead of chasing $500K a couple weeks later. Besides, dirt horses have the Dwyer, the Iowa Derby, the Ohio Derby (wherever it may fall), the Long Branch/Pegasus, and that's just in the East. 3YO dirt racing will be absolutely unaffected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
none of those races has a purse over $250,000 and that's the Iowa Derby
Wilford Brimley More than 1 year ago
I'd have to disagree. Most of the top three year olds, who endured a long triple crown campaign, need a short break after the Belmont (see: foolish decisions like running Seattle Slew in the Swaps). You don't need a $500k purse for second-tier 3 year olds on the dirt, or ones who are lightly-raced looking for a springboard to the Summer classics. Plenty of races like the Peter Pan, Dwyer, Pegasus to take care of that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BOOOORRRRIIIIIIINNNGGGG!. . Yup another 9f dirt race....ZZZzzzzz