08/17/2010 1:32PM

Stakes doubleheader at Presque Isle


Pennsylvania-bred 3-year-olds take center stage at Presque Isle Downs Thursday evening in a pair of 1 1/16-mile Tapeta stakes, the $75,000 Malvern Rose for fillies and the Lil E. Tee Handicap for colts and geldings. The Malvern Rose drew 10 entrants and will be run as the sixth race, and the Lil E. Tee is the seventh race and has a field of 11.

Closing Vision will attempt to win his fourth consecutive race in the Lil E. Tee. Trained by Tim Kelly, Closing Vision won a claiming race June 19 at Penn National against older horses going six furlongs. His next win came in an allowance event at Penn July 2, again at six furlongs. In his most recent out, July 31, Closing Vision bested a field of older starter allowance foes by two lengths, this time going 6 1/2 furlongs.

The two questions that need to be answered are his ability to go the two-turn distance and if he can handle the Presque Isle Tapeta surface, as he has never run over a synthetic surface. Ronnie Allen Jr. will ride Closing Vision for the first time.

Should Closing Vision not handle the surface or distance, Ryan’s Gift may be the one to take advantage. Trained by Michael Ferraro, Ryan’s Gift comes off a victory here in a 6 1/2-furlong open allowance race on Aug. 3. Leading rider Daniel Centeno retains the mount on Ryan’s Gift.

In the Malvern Rose, Smart Seattle comes off a win in an open allowance event at Penn National against older females on June 16. She has worked forwardly for trainer Graham Motion, posting a bullet work last Saturday at Fair Hills Training Center.

Smart Seattle is owned by Augustin Stable, which also sends out Fugitive Angel. They are coupled in the wagering.

Trained by Jonathan Sheppard, Fugitive Angel has won her last two outings. She won a maiden race at Colonial June 19 going 5 1/2 furlongs on turf. She then won the $75,000 Russian Rhythm, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Pennsylvania-breds at Penn National, on Aug. 6.

Anna Napravnik, aboard for her most recent win, retains the mount.