07/26/2012 12:33PM

Penn National: Toby's Corner trying to get back on track in Mountainview


Toby’s Corner returned from a layoff well enough, finishing third this winter in both the Grade 2 General George and Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap.

“He started off great,” said Graham Motion, trainer of Toby’s Corner. “But then his last two races have been real head-scratchers.”

Indeed, with a seventh-place finish by Toby’s Corner in the Pimlico Special followed by a fourth-place finish as the favorite in the seven-furlong Levine Memorial at Parx, the comeback trail has turned into a difficult one for him. Winner of the 2011 Wood Memorial, Toby’s Corner was declared from the Kentucky Derby just days before the race because of a hind-leg injury. He would have been one of the favorites. Now four races into his return, the 4-year-old colt is being sent on a short van ride from his training base in Fair Hill, Md., to run Saturday night in the $175,000 Mountainview Handicap at Penn National in Grantville, Pa.

[PENN NATIONAL: Get PPs and watch Saturday's full card live]

“The race at Parx was just an experiment, one that obviously didn’t work very well,” said Motion. “We just kind of need to find him an easier spot, and hopefully that’s what we’ll have Saturday.”

Toby’s Corner, with Jeremy Rose to ride, will stretch back out to 1 1/8 miles in the Mountainview, which drew a field of eight older horses. He will carry 117 pounds, one fewer than Marilyn’s Guy, the starting highweight.

Marilyn’s Guy also will be making a short westward hop for the race, leaving his Delaware Park base for trainer Tony Dutrow. Claimed in March 2011 for $50,000, the gray gelding has had five races since, winning three of them, most notably the Grade 3 Excelsior at Aqueduct in March. Chuck Lopez will be aboard from post 2.

The Mountainview is the seventh of 10 races, with post time at 8:47 p.m. Eastern.

◗ Motion also has a major contender in Smart Bid in the $100,000 East Hanover (race 4, post 7:24), a 1 1/2-mile turf race that represents new territory for the earner of $933,013.

“His last couple of races were a little disappointing, even though he didn’t get beat very far,” said Motion. “We’re going to try to send him the mile and a half and see if that gives us an indication about what to do with him the rest of the year.”

Smart Bid, with Rose to ride, will start from post 7 as the 120-pound highweight in the three-turn East Hanover, which drew a field of 10 older horses.