08/03/2012 8:35PM

Penn National: Roadhog roars through stretch to take Robellino


Roadhog, no better than fourth in his first two starts of the season even he dropped to run for a $35,000 claiming tag, relished the return to Pennsylvania-bred company to win the second of two $75,000 turf stakes for statebreds Friday night at Penn National.

Reunited with Maryland-based jockey Horatio Karamanos for the first time since closing out his 2011 campaign with a win last November over Laurel Park’s turf course, the 5-year-old Roadhog ($13.60) angled out from the rail to mount a four-wide rally through the stretch to win the Robellino by 2 1/4 lengths. The runner-up in last year’s Robellino, Roadhog completed 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.89 for his fifth win in 17 lifetime starts.

A son of Bowman’s Band, Roadhog is trained by Elizabeth Merryman for Ellendale Racing.

New York shipper Philly Ace got up for second by a neck as the 4-5 favorite over Gondwanan, a 4-year-old making his first start on grass.

Locally based 5-year-old You Need Me ($7.20) earned her third straight win and defended her title in the five-furlong Russian Rhythm for fillies and mares.

Ridden by Emilio Flores for trainer J. Michael Rogers and owner Michael Jester, You Need Me outfinished 3-2 favorite Madrilena by three-quarters of a length. The winner ran the distance in 56.03 seconds. A daughter of Indian Charlie, You Need Me has now won 7 of 25 starts.

Madrilena, whose three-race winning streak was snapped, finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of third-place Amnesian.