11/13/2002 12:00AM

Penn National track report


Manhattan Miner, an impressive winner against open allowance company in her return from a layoff last month at Philadelphia Park, is clearly the horse to beat in Friday night's $50,000 Blue Mountain Juvenile Stakes at Penn National.

A daughter of Miner's Mark trained by Robert Seegar, Manhattan Miner faces nine 2-year-old Pennsylvania-bred fillies in the six-furlong Blue Mountain. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 61 when she drew off to a 4 3/4-length victory in a seven-furlong race on Oct. 19.

Always Devilish won her career debut by 3 3/4 lengths in a 5 1/2-furlong race at Penn National on Oct. 24. If she can repeat the Beyer Speed Figure of 63 that she was awarded while facing winners for the first time, she is a serious contender.

Love for Ali, runner-up to Always Devilish as the odds-on favorite, adds Lasix for her second lifetime start. Her trainer, Todd Beattie, who also has entered another maiden racing on Lasix for the first time, Sweet Lauren, is winning with 33 percent of his second-time starters.

A Vision in Gray, trained by Tim Ritchey, flashed good speed while challenging a fast pace in her career debut at Delaware Park earlier this month before fading to fifth. She still earned a Beyer Figure of 54 for that effort.

A Vision in Gray was within a head of the lead after a half-mile in 45.46 seconds. That fraction is almost identical to the 45.45-second half-mile call in Manhattan Miner's allowance victory, an indication A Vision in Gray should be at least a pace factor against this field.