04/16/2002 11:00PM

Penn National track report


There are no sure things in horse racing, but when trainer John McCaslin ships a horse from Philadelphia Park to Penn National, an across-the-board wager is almost as safe as money in a bank.

Over the past two months, McCaslin has compiled a sensational record with horses he has sent to the Grantville, Pa., oval from his home base at Philadelphia Park.

McCaslin, who was stabled at Penn National more than 20 years ago, has sent out five winners, five seconds, and three third-place finishers from the 16 starters he has run at Penn.

Last Friday, McCaslin connected with Run for Joy, the 3-5 favorite in a $14,100 allowance race at 1 1/16 miles. It was her second straight victory over the top fillies and mares on the grounds.

He also trains Sumerset, an easy winner over the track's best male allowance runners on April 6. The field he defeated, while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 88, included stakes-placed Mister Business and Holditholditholdit. Both Run for Joy and Sumerset are owned by E&G Stables.

* Alysage, a 6-year-old mare trained by Timothy Chase, scored her fifth consecutive victory of the year when she decisively defeated starter-allowance sprinters in a 4 1/2-furlong race timed in 52.10 seconds on April 12. Alysage, who has won her five races by an average margin of five lengths, is tied with five other horses for the most wins in the nation this year.

* Penn National will conduct a spring handicappers' challenge tournament on April 27. A field of 100 horseplayers will each start with a mythical $200 bankroll. They are required to make 10 $20 win bets on any combination of races run that night at Penn National or Charles Town. First prize in $5,000, with $2,500 for second, and $1,000 for third.