Grantville, PA (June 1, 2016) – The fourth running of the $500,000 Penn Mile (G3) at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course looks like it will be one for the history books. If the first horse to come into the Penn Mile with a Breeders’ Cup victory under their belt lives up to expectations, it will mark the first time a filly has claimed the one-mile turf stakes in its brief history.
And a special filly it is as Catch a Glimpse, owned by the partnership of Gary Barber, Michael James Ambler, and Windways Farm, is in the capable hands of six-time Sovereign Award Winning Trainer Mark Casse. Bred in Kentucky by Branch Equine, LLC, the multiple-graded stakes winning three-year-old filly is by City Zip out of the Irish River (FR) mare Halo River.
On Tuesday, May 31, Casse – who was headed for a fitting for his top hat and tails for Royal Ascot where Tepin will run in the Group 1, Queen Anne on June 14 – acknowledged that he had several options for Catch a Glimpse, who brings a six-race win streak into Saturday’s Penn Mile.
“She’s a marvelous filly,” states Casse. “We have the luxury in Florida of getting our horses ready to run on the turf, and we knew early on that she liked the grass. She tends to make the lead, looks around and switches leads. But Florent (Geroux) knows her well and we’re hoping for a good effort Saturday.”
Geroux has piloted Catch a Glimpse to her last five victories, including last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) and will make his first trip to Penn National on Saturday.
“She likes to do her own thing,” explains Geroux. “She wants to be in charge; my role is to keep her happy. This filly has natural speed and is always game. At the end of a race, she might seem distracted and you think someone’s going to collar her, but no one has.”
Catch a Glimpse, who has already earned $929,052, makes it look easy come race time, but Casse admits that she has her quirks.
“Prior to her last race at Churchill, we tried to school her,” said Casse. “She planted her feet and wouldn’t move for fifteen minutes. Finally, we were able to coax her to returning to the barn. She will do anything as long as her pony horse is with her. As long as he’s around, she’s fine!”
Casse has also entered John Oxley’s Airoforce, a Kentucky-bred son of Colonel John. Forced to steady in the $300,000 American Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs, the gray colt finished fourth, but has a Grade 2 win at Churchill and ran second in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland.
“He was hoping that Catch a Glimpse would go in the filly stakes,” quipped Casse. “He ran well in his last race and should have been third.”
Trevor McCarthy will ride Airoforce, who has won three of his seven career starts.
Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey’s Oscar Nominated will make his first start since finishing 17th in the Kentucky Derby (G1). The son of Kitten’s Joy out of the Theatrical (IRE) mare Devine Actress won the Black Gold Stakes at Fair Grounds before pulling the upset at odds of 23-1 in the $500,000 Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park. The Ramseys had eight horses paid into the Triple Crown, but Oscar Nominated was not one of them. However, following the Spiral victory, an elated Ken Ramsey did not hesitate in paying the $200,000 supplementary fee to run his colt in the 142nd Kentucky Derby. The end result was not what his connections had hoped for, but Maker has faith in the well-bred colt for his return to action in the Penn Mile.
“He was in good position, but just couldn’t keep up,” Maker said of Oscar Nominated’s Kentucky Derby effort. “The colt is doing fine and there have been no issues since the Derby, He’s a handy little horse and very easy to train.”
Todd Pletcher, the current leading trainer in North America, is shipping in Red Oak Stable’s homebred Unbridled Daddy. The Scat Daddy colt began his 3-year-old campaign with a four-length allowance win at Gulfstream Park on March 19 and followed that with a third-place finish in the $100,000 Woodhaven Stakes one month later at Aqueduct. Jockey Javier Castellano will ride the dark bay, breaking from post position 7.
The field also includes Beach Patrol, now owned in partnership by James Covello, Sheep Pond Partners and Head of Plains Partners LLC and trained by Chad Brown. The son of Lemon Drop Kid was purchased privately after losing a head bob in the American Turf and will be making his first start for his new connections. Beach Patrol, previously trained by Phil D’Amato, had won a pair of allowance races at Santa Anita in impressive fashion prior to finishing second in his stakes debut at Churchill.
Trainer Tom Albertrani will ship in Giant Run, a Maryland-bred Giant’s Causeway colt owned by Robert Baker and William Mack. He won two of his last four starts at Gulfstream Park and was second in the Palm Beach Stakes (G3) on February 27. Rounding out the field is Phoenix Stable, Inc’s Silent Waters winner of his last two at Laurel Park for trainer John Pimental.
In its infancy, the Penn Mile has continued to produce top caliber three-year-old turf horses. Last year’s winner, Colts Neck Stables LLC’s Force the Pass captured the Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) and hit the board in three additional graded stakes in 2015. In 2014, Kenneth L. Ramsey’s Bobby’s Kitten, went on to take the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita after winning the Penn Mile.
In addition to the Penn Mile, the June 4th card at Penn National includes the $200,000 Penn Oaks; $150,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup and the $200,000 Mountainview Handicap. A special All-Stakes Pick Four will be offered, beginning with the $200,000 Penn Oaks, followed by the $150,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup, the $200,000 Mountainview Handicap, and finishing with the Penn Mile.
Post time for the day’s first race – the Penn Oaks – is 6 p.m. (EST), with the Penn Mile scheduled for 7:40 p.m. EST. The four stakes races will be televised live by TVG2.
“We appreciate the interest from nationally acclaimed horsemen and look forward to presenting an excellent Penn Mile card,” said Eric Johnston, Director of Racing Operations. “We anticipate putting on a great show for our fans on track and simulcast players around the country.”
$500,000 PENN MILE (G3) – 3YO, 1 Mile (Turf)
- Silent Waters, Alex Cintron, 122, John I. Pimental
- Airoforce, Trevor McCarthy, 116, Mark E. Casse
- Beach Patrol, Joel Rosario, 122, Chad C. Brown
- Catch a Glimpse, Florent Geroux, 117, Mark E. Casse
- Oscar Nominated, Kendrick Carmouche, 122, Michael J. Maker
- Giant Run, Joe Bravo, 122, Thomas Albertrani
- Unbridled Daddy, Javier Castellano, 116, Todd A. Pletcher
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course