How to bet the 2023 Penn Mile Stakes

May 31st, 2023

A octet of three-year-olds will travel eight panels on the Penn National turf course in Friday’s $400,000 Penn Mile S. (G2). The event looks top heavy to me as the morning-line choices look to be formidable in the contest, and I will base the majority of my plays around the likely contenders.

Dania Beach S. victor #8 Candidate (5-2) will race as a gelding for the initial time on Friday and gets the slight nod for conditioner Arnaud Delacour. By Exaggerator, the sophomore captured his first three turf tries prior to finishing a smart runner-up in the Kitten’s Joy S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park in February. The speedy sort was well-placed in the subsequent Transylvania S. (G3) at Keeneland before finishing evenly in the deep tilt, and the chestnut has trained forwardly in the interim for a good layoff conditioner.

Candidate has both positional speed and a solid turn of foot, and I expect him to always be close to the tempo while in the clear every step of the way. The Kentucky-bred will have Trevor McCarthy in the silks for the initial time in the feature.

Todd Pletcher’s #2 Major Dude (8-5), a dual graded stakes hero on the lawn, was last seen finishing a close third in the American Turf (G2) beneath the Twin Spires on Kentucky Derby Day. The $550,000 son of Bolt d’Oro split a pair of results with the top pick in Florida this campaign, led by a tally in the Kitten’s Joy S. (G3), and the consistently good colt is a must-use in the cast.

The stalker could receive a beneficial voyage on Friday while facing a field with some early speed in the mix. If the Spendthrift color bearer gets clear sailing turning for home, then he will be difficult to deny late with his best showing. Regular pilot Irad Ortiz Jr. coming in to ride is an obvious positive for the bay.

Jack Sisterson’s #7 Behind Enemy Lines (5-1) was visually impressive in his stateside debut when dominating the Cutler Bay S. The lightly raced son of Sioux Nation was an even sixth, beaten by four lengths, in the American Turf last time out and could deliver a peak performance while making his third run since coming to the U. S. in this spot. He will be doing his best work from off of the early tempo with Flavien Prat retaining the mount.

Penn Mile Wagers

$20 win: #8 Candidate ($20)

$3 exacta box: 2,7,8 ($18)

$2 trifecta box: 2,7,8 ($12)