Weekend Recap 5/31

Force The Pass flies late to win the Penn Mile

Penn National had the biggest night of the season on Saturday and it was Force the Pass and Joel Rosario who took home the biggest prize, winning the $500,000 Penn Mile. Sent off at odds of 9/1, Force The Pass and Rosario settled back in eighth early on as Commanche’s Pass set a brisk pace, getting through a quarter in 22.89 seconds and a half mile in 46.42 seconds. Gallery came up after the lead as they hit the top of the lane but all the closers came flying including Night Prowler who seized the lead in mid-stretch. He had the lead until the final couple of jumps when Force The Pass finally shook loose and got up for the win, scoring by a head. Night Prowler was second ahead of Granny’s Kitten ( 3rd Selection) who ran third.

The Penn Oaks kicked off the racing card on Saturday and it was Strict Compliance ( 2nd Selection) who rolled down the outside to win the $150,000 event. Long shot Gypsy Judy set the early pace and turned for home with the lead and a chance to upset the group. But both Quality Rocks ( 3rd Selection) and Strict Compliance flew past late, with Strict Compliance winning by half a length. The Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup was a three horse thriller as Amelia’s Wild Ride, Ben’s Cat and Bold Thunder hit the wire together just noses apart. Bold Thunder ( Top Selection) went to the lead and was almost two lengths clear with a furlong to go. But the old veteran Ben’s Cat ( 2nd Selection) and Amelia’s Wild Ride ( 3rd Selection) both came with their rallies and it was Amelia’s Wild Ride who got up in the final yards to win by a nose over Ben’s Cat. It was just another neck back to Bold Thunder who finished third. In the Mountainview Handicap it was Golden Lad who rewarded his many backers as he crushed the field in that race. Sent off as the 9/5 favorite, Golden Lad ( 2nd Selection) stalked Very Lucky for much of the race and put that rival away as they turned for home, drawing off to win by five lengths in the end.

Divisidero flies late to win the Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont

Divisidero turned in another flashy stretch drive as she flew down the stretch late to catch Takeover Target on the wire and win the $200,000 Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont Park. Sent off at odds of 2/1, Divisidero ( 2nd Selection) was sixth early on as Made in Detroit set a modest tempo, getting through a half mile in 49.50 seconds. Takeover Target ( 3rd Selection) took over the lead as they turned into the stretch and was a length in front of Divisidero who had started to roll. But Divisidero and Rafael Hernandez had all the momentum and got a great head-bob, finishing a neck in front at the wire. Takeover Target was second with Startup Nation ( Top Selection) running third.

Spanish Queen wins the American Oaks

Spanish Queen was bet down to 3/5 and rewarded her many backers as she took home the top honors in the $400,000 American Oaks at Santa Anita. Spanish Queen ( 2nd Selection) was third early on as Feathered set the early pace, navigating a half mile in a manageable 47.68 seconds over the glib Santa Anita grass. Feathered brought that lead to the top of the stretch and got a big challenge from Mrs. McDougal ( Top Selection) and Spanish Queen who both came after her. Mrs. McDougal couldn’t sustain that bid, but Spanish Queen did and she edged clear late from Feathered to win by three quarters of a length.

In the Californian it was Catch a Flight ( Top Selection) who won a hard fought battle over Moreno ( 2nd Selection) to get the win by half a length. Moreno didn’t get the lead as Big Cazanova went off to set the pace and put up a strong half mile in 46.94 seconds. As they came to the top of the lane Catch a Flight and Moreno took over and they battled all the way down the lane, with Catch a Flight and Gary Stevens finally edging clear to win by a half a length. Moreno was second with Hard Aces ( 3rd Selection) finishing up in third.


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