05/28/2008 12:00AM

Roanoke heads rich five-stakes program


Five stakes, including four that are restricted to Pennsylvania-bred and Pennsylvania-sired horses, headline the richest card in Penn National Race Course's history.

Friday night's nine-race card will be worth a collective $427,600, thanks mainly to five consecutive stakes in races 4-8.

The stakes lineup begins with the $55,000 Changing Times, an open race for older sprinters, and continues with four consecutive $75,000 races for statebreds.

The best stakes on the card is the Roanoke (race 6), a six-furlong sprint with a nine-horse field in which seven of the runners finished first or second last time out.

That group is headed by the 4-year-old gelding Don'ttrythisathome, who has been transformed from a midpack closer to a pure speedball since he was claimed for $35,000 in late April. In two starts for trainer Scott Lake, Don'ttrythisathome has posted the two best Beyer Speed Figures of his nine-race career (99 and 90) while clearing his first two allowance conditions.

Secretintelligence, another front-runner, was not worse than second in 10 starts last season, including back-to-back wins in restricted stakes at Philadelphia Park and Delaware Park. He has been off since October, but has fired fresh each of the last two times he has returned from extended breaks.

The Roanoke also marks the stakes debut of Yowza, a 4-year-old who won his first two career starts by a combined margin of more than 19 lengths. Yowza, who will be making his first start on Lasix, apparently didn't beat much in his two wins. The horses he faced were a combined 0 for 11 in their next starts.

If a speed duel develops, it would benefit Whistle Pig, a Philly Park shipper who won the seven-furlong Lyman Sprint Handicap at his home track and the six-furlong Lil E Tee over the Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs the last two times he faced Pennsylvania-breds.

In the other stakes:

* Nittany Express, a nine-time winner with $228,089 in earnings, makes his first start in 18 months for the high-percentage barn of Todd Beattie in the 1 1/16-mile Nepal (raceo5). The other question mark in the field is Xtra Power, an impressive winner two starts back who stumbled and lost his rider in his return from a layoff less than three weeks ago.

* Speechifying, a 5-year-old mare now trained and partially owned by Steve Klesaris, makes her first start since winning the $250,000 My Juliet at Philly Park last September in the six-furlong Power by Far for fillies and mares (race 7).

* Who's Happy, who has 2 wins and a second in her last 3 starts in Pennsylvania-bred stakes, returns from a six-month layoff for trainer Tim Woolley in the 1 1/16-mile Robellino for fillies and mares (race 8).

* Trainer David Jacobson ships in two sharp horses from Delaware, the uncoupled entry of Japengo and Southern Missile, for the six-furlong Changing Times (race 4). The field also includes the 8-year-old Banjo Picker, a 14-time winner of more than $500,000.