09/13/2012 4:02PM

Penn National: Pair of shippers look dangerous in Thomas Clifton Stakes

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Tom Keyser
The Beyer Speed Figure of 85 that Wildcat Creek earned Aug. 9 is the best turf number in Saturday’s eight-horse field.

Wildcat Creek, winner of his turf debut last month at Monmouth Park, and Gentlemans Code, who put together a three-race winning streak on Polytrack and turf in Kentucky and Illinois this past spring, are the prime contenders in the $50,000 Thomas Clifton Stakes at Penn National. The five-furlong turf sprint is restricted to 3-year-olds who have never won a stakes.

Wildcat Creek, trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., responded to a surface switch by leading wire to wire in a second-level optional $32,000 claimer on Aug. 9. The Beyer Speed Figure of 85 that he earned is the best turf number in Saturday’s eight-horse field.

Gentlemans Code is a combined 4 for 7 on Polytrack and turf, including first-level allowance win on the grass at Arlington Park in early June. In his only subsequent start, Gentlemans Code dueled up front before fading to third in the $100,000 John’s Call at Saratoga.

The field also includes Ancil, who returns to turf after winning two of his last three starts on Tapeta at Presque Isle, and Golden Wheels, who gets back to sprinting, where he is 2 for 4, after an unsuccessful one-race experiment going long over soft turf in the one-mile Capital City.