Charley or Chai, PEN Mile Looks to Be a Battle Royale

PEN Mile – Grade II
1m   Turf   Graded Stake
Purse $500.000  For Three Year Olds.

1 Ye Charley, trained by Smokey Stover
The winner of last years BC Juvenile turf he has been lightly campaigned this year as he has waited for the summer turf season to get under way. A good winner of the grade two Shakertown he was then sold for a massive $1,000.000 by Kopites and Smokey Stover took over the reins. His first effort for the new owner saw him just get home in the Desert Code Stakes but like the Shakertown that was over a sprint trip and i think this mile is what really floats his boat. From the ace draw and with good works under his belt he will be very difficult to beat.

2 Clockwork Chai, trained by Mb Stables
Another turf specialist he has won eight from ten and his last four in a row. Starting gently he took the Kittens Joy before stepping up to win the Palm Beach and then again to take the San Francisco Mile. That last win against his elders was pretty dominant and off the top shelf and with a great draw he sets up an intriguing race with ye Charley. If anything his works are a bit better than the BC Champ so that may be the difference between them.

3 Awesome Indeed, trained by TwinTowersRacing
Comes off a pretty poor effort in the ungraded Sullivan Stakes and although his works are sharp on all known form he wont be good enough.

4 The Black Spot, trained by Blushing meadows
He has run some nice races in lesser grades and whilst this mile is probably his best trip and his works arent too bad he may struggle against the top runners.

5 Steppe Cossacks, trained by Rheingold Stables
An interesting runner who must be considered. With a great turf record he has only switched to this surface in his last three starts but has two grade three wins and a grade two third to his name already. An on pace runner he will need to get a decent trip to the front and then hold a steady pace to have a winning chance but his recent form and works suggest he will be a tough one to get passed. His win in the DeMille Stakes came on an easy surface but i liked the was he stalked the lead and ran on strongly to take the Transylvania Stakes ona  better surface. His last run came on soft ground and he tired at the end so todays mile may be perfect for him.

6 Pain, trained by John Henry
A victim of horse selling park he has changed hands a few times for big bucks. He sold for $650.000 after his win in the Borbon but failed in the BC turf and then struggled a little when sent to the dirt. Another sale, this time for $400.000 saw him move to John Henry’s Stable and he put in a decent effort in his only start for the new trainer when a close third in the Desert Code Stakes. Beaten by Ye Charley that day i am not sure he can turn the tables on that one but will be in the race for minor purse money.

7 Moving Around, trained by Alydar Stables
Twice a winner on the turf before trying a  dirt campaign in which he did pretty well but he has been brought back to the turf today. Its always hard to translate dirt form to a turf race but a very close fifth in the Wood memorial and an even closer third in the Peter Pan suggests that if he improves with grass under his hooves he would be right in this. The widish draw is a worry but he clearly has ability if he can reproduce it in this race.

8 Serious Cobra, trained by Aer Stables
Took the Dania Beach at the start of the year and then hacked up in an overnight before an attempt in the American Turf last time out. He didnt really put out that day finishing seventh but as the ground was soft you could use that as an excuse. His works are solid and if he copes with the wide draw he could be the dark horse in the race.

One of my favourite turf races of the year this brings together two of the best turf three year olds in the game. Its hard to get past Ye Charley and Clockwork Chai so i am not going to try, third place should be between Steppe Cossacks and Moving Around with Pain right there.

Categories: Grade II, Races, STAKES ARTICLES

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