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Penn Mile Preview: Annex Out To Avenge Defeat
Annex winning the Palm Beach (Credit: Coglianese Photos / Lauren King)

Penn Mile Preview: Annex Out To Avenge Defeat

GRANTVILLE, PA – LNJ Foxwoods and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Annex is out to avenge his first career defeat in Friday’s $300,000 Penn Mile Stakes (G2) at Penn National.

The Penn Mile is a two-turn grass event restricted to 3-year-old horses. This year’s edition is the fourth event on an 11-race card and has a local post time of 7:46 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Penn Mile:

1. Gershwin 12/1 – If the forecasted rain pushes this off the turf, it’ll be the third time in as many attempts to run on grass in this Mike Stidham trainee’s career. He broke his maiden in a muddy 5 1/2-furlong off-turf sprint in February and missed winning a 1-mile Churchill Downs allowance in the slop by a neck last time out, so he could ultimately benefit should the field be forced onto the dirt.

2. Original 8/1 – He returned from a 2 1/2-month hiatus to finish third in the 1 1/16-mile Woodhaven Stakes at Aqueduct, a race where he set the pace but couldn’t hold off the heavy favorite. Expect an improved effort in his second start off the bench, a 17% winning situation for trainer John Terranova. He broke his maiden in his turf debut and finished third in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes (G3) in his only other turf try.

3. Annex 9/5 – He won 3 straight (all turf routes) at Gulfstream Park to start his career, a streak that included the Palm Beach Stakes and the Cutler Bay Stakes, before suffering his only loss to date in the American Turf Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs. He adds blinkers for the first time (an 11% winning move for trainer Bill Mott) and reunites with Junior Alvarado, aboard in his first 3 starts but not last time out.

4. Chess’s Dream 5/1 – He hit the board in his first 6 turf tries, including upsetting the Kitten’s Joy and finishing third in both the Palm Beach and the Sophomore Turf Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, before finishing seventh in the American Turf. He should appreciate cutting back to a mile, a distance at which he has a 4-2-2 record, and trainer Mike Maker wins turf routes at an 18% rate.

See the day’s full plays from Ricky’s Rockets!

5. The King Cheek 12/1 – He gives turf a try for the first time after putting together a 9-4-2-0 record and winning his past 2 starts, including the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness Stakes (G1) undercard last time out. Trainer Jamie Ness wins 22% with runners making similar surface swaps and his damsire War Chant won both career turf starts, including the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

6. Sibelius 10/1 – His turf debut comes in his inaugural attempt at navigating two turns and while facing winners for the first time – a lot to ask of a horse with only 2 starts under his belt. He earned a field-high 88 Beyer Speed Figure for breaking his maiden in a 6 1/2-furlong Keeneland dirt sprint last time out and trainer Jerry O’Dwyer has a 26% success rate when stretching out his runners in similar fashion.

7. Outadore 8/5 – He won a pair of turf sprints to start his career before finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) in his first route attempt. After ending 2020 with a failed dirt experiment, he kicked off his sophomore campaign with a gate-to-wire score in the Animal Kingdom Stakes, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint on the Turfway Park synthetic course. Irad Ortiz Jr. shows faith traveling to ride here.

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