07/27/2011 12:35PM

Penn National: Out Post tries again in Jenny Wade Handicap

Barbara D. Livingston
Ahvee’s Destiny will ship in from New York for Friday’s Jenny Wade.

The New Jersey-based Out Post missed by a neck to the Linda Rice-trained Canadian Ballet in last year’s Jenny Wade Handicap at Penn National Race Course. Friday night, Out Post is back to try again against another well-accomplished female turf sprinter from Rice’s New York barn, Ahvee’s Destiny.

Out Post and Ahvee’s Destiny, along with nine other fillies and mares, will attempt to snap 7-year-old Suzzona’s three-race winning streak in the five-furlong Jenny Wade, one of four $100,000 stakes on the nine-race card at the central Pennsylvania track. Friday’s program, which begins at 6 p.m. Eastern, offers $538,000 in purses and serves as a prelude to Penn National’s premier event, the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup, on Saturday night.

Although Out Post and Ahvee’s Destiny are a combined 0 for 8 in 2011, neither mare can be discounted.

Out Post, trained by Alan Goldberg, comes off a head loss in a third-level optional $50,000 claimer at Monmouth Park. She has been first or second in 4 of 7 starts over the past two seasons, including her near-miss in last year’s Jenny Wade.

Two starts ago, the 7-year-old Ahvee’s Destiny finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Out Post as the runner-up to another Jenny Wade entrant, Colony Club, in the Fort Monmouth. An eight-time winner in turf sprints, Ahvee’s Destiny is winless in five starts this year, but in addition to her half-length defeat, she ran well enough to earn a 92 Beyer Speed Figure for her third-place finish against males in the Gulfstream Turf Sprint in late January.

The logical favorite, however, is Suzzona, who tops the field with 19 career victories and $436,755 in earnings.

Over the past two seasons while racing for Maryland-based trainer Ben Feliciano, Suzzona has gone 8 for 13, including stakes wins at Tampa Bay Downs and Pimlico. She comes off a career-best 92 Beyer for her 2 1/2-length score in a money-condition allowance at Parx Racing in mid-June.

The 12-horse field includes three others who have won stakes this season – Colony Club, Speedacious, and Down Town Allen. Of that trio, only Colony Club, who upset the Fort Monmouth at 10-1, has done her best running on turf.

Speedacious, last of 12 in her only previous try on grass going long at Louisiana Downs in August 2010, comes off a winning performance in the $100,000 Satin and Lace on the Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs.

Down Town Allen, whose 10-for-17 record includes five stakes in West Virginia over the past two seasons, will be racing on a surface other than dirt for the first time. Her trainer, John W. Casey, has not started a horse on turf the last five years.

In the other stakes on Friday’s card:

◗ Naples Bay, who began her career by winning back-to-back turf races at Gulfstream Park but was unable to transfer that good form in two subsequent stakes starts in New York, is the track’s lukewarm 4-1 favorite in a field of 10 3-year-old fillies going a mile on turf in the Dauphin Miss (race 1).

Other contenders include Juanita, who earned a career-best 80 Beyer for wiring a group of second-level optional $40,000 claimers at Indiana Downs last time out; Long Lake Krista, who led until deep stretch of her turf debut going a mile at Arlington Park while earning a 78 Beyer; and Salary Drive, who three starts ago was a close second in the Little Silver at Monmouth Park.

◗ Apple Charlotte, second and third in a pair of Grade 3 stakes over the past two seasons, may hold a class advantage over her 11 rivals in the Red Carpet for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on turf (race 4). A 4-year-old from the high-percentage barn of Graham Motion, Apple Charlotte most recently rallied from 15 lengths behind to get third, beaten just 2 1/2 lengths, in the Grade 3 All Along, a 1 1/8-mile race at Colonial Downs.

Her most intriguing opponent is Sugar Again, who makes her first start for Hall of Famer Jonathan Sheppard in her season debut after closing out her 3-year-old campaign last fall with a win and a miss by a neck in a pair of six-figure sprint stakes on Woodbine’s Polytrack.

◗ Bold Affair, whose 3-for-5 record is highlighted by a one-length score in the $200,000 Jostle at Parx two starts ago, heads a field of seven 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs on the main track in the Femme Fatale (race 8).

Two others with a realistic chance at toppling the favorite are Jealous Girl, who makes her first start since soaring to a 93 Beyer winning a first-level optional $16,000 claimer at Delaware Park in mid-May, and Grand Kisses, who two starts ago got up by a neck to win the Charles Town Oaks going 6 1/2 furlongs around two turns.