09/20/2012 2:43PM

Penn National: Nicole H taking on males in Changing Times

Barbara D. Livingston
Nicole H has not won in her last six starts

The multiple stakes-winning mare Nicole H is avoiding some of the heavy hitters in her division running in the Gallant Bloom Handicap by shipping from New York to central Pennsylvania to challenge male sprinters in Saturday night's $100,000 Changing Times Stakes at Penn National.

The six-furlong sprint drew a field of eight and goes as the fifth race at 7:52 p.m. Eastern.

Although Nicole H is winless in her last six starts, she has had near-misses in a trio of Grade 2 and Grade 1 stakes. The Mike Hushion-trained Nicole H came up a neck shy of the winner in the Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel and the Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont, both Grade 2 events. She also was the runner-up, beaten only a half-length, in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney at Calder.

Despite her credentials, Nicole H may not go favored in the Changing Times, thanks to the presence of the streaking Guam Typhoon. A 6-year-old claimed by Jamie Ness this past February for $25,000, Guam Typhoon has put together a six-race winning streak, capped by a neck victory last time out in the $100,000 Sen. Robert Byrd Memorial at Mountaineer. Guam Typhoon has registered Beyer Speed Figures of 100 and 101 in two of his last three starts.

The field also includes China, who returned from a 10-month layoff to win a Polytrack sprint at Arlington with a 98 Beyer, and Sloane Ranger, a two-time stakes winner this season.

The 6-year-old China has not won on dirt since taking back-to-back starts at Churchill Downs in November 2010.

Sloane Ranger prevailed in a pair of photo finishes, taking the $150,000 Donald LeVine at Parx Racing by a neck in June and rallying to get up by a head in the Banjo Picker for Pennsylvania-breds at Parx two weeks ago.

The Maryland-based 7-year-old Immortal Eyes usually does his best work in ultra-short sprints, winning the Charles Town Dash and Webb Snyder going 4 1/2 furlongs at Charles Town this season. Last fall, he was good enough going six furlongs to miss by a neck in the $200,000 Six Bits at Penn National.