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Penn National has Eight Saturday Stakes + 15% Takeout Pick 4’s

by Dustin Fabian

May 30, 2019

All of the big boys, including Belmont, Santa Anita, Churchill, Gulfstream and Woodbine are in action this Saturday but my attention is on Penn National, where a eight-pack of stakes races headline a 12-race card that features a trio of 15% Takeout All-Stakes Pick 4’s. 

You read that right.  For this day only, Penn National has slashed the takeout of their Pick 4’s down to just 15%, making them an incredibly appealing betting option this Saturday. 

By the way, if you’re used to Penn National being a ‘night’ track you’re going to have to tweak your approach on Saturday as special first post is 2:45PM ET. 

Here’s a look at the stakes races on the card and where you can play those All-Stakes Pick 4’s:

  • Race 4 (4:06PM ET) - New Start S. *Start of All-Stakes Pick 4 (Races 4 - 7)*
  • Race 5 (4:34PM ET) - Danzig S.
  • Race 6 (5:02PM ET) - Penn Ladies Dash *Start of All-Stakes Pick 4 (Races 6 - 9)*
  • Race 7 (5:30PM ET) - Chocolate Town Sprint
  • Race 8 (6:05PM ET) - Susquehanna S. *Start of All-Stakes Pick 4 (Races 8 - 11)*
  • Race 9 (6:40PM ET) - PA Governor's Cup
  • Race 10 (7:15PM ET) - Penn Oaks
  • Race 11 (7:50PM ET) - Grade 2 Penn Mile

On top of everything else, Penn National and Belmont have combined for an All Turf Stakes Cross Country Pick 5 this Saturday, consisting of Races 8 – 11 at Penn National and the G3 Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont.  To bet that, look for ‘Cross Country Pick 5’ on the Tracklist. 

Here’s how I’m betting the All-Stakes Pick 4 that covers Races 8 – 11 and wraps up with the Penn Mile.   For the Cross-Country Pick 5, I would use Value Proposition, Demarchelier, Social Paranoia and Clint Maroon in the Pennine Ridge. 

Race 8 – Susquehanna Stakes

DYNATAIL (5/2) was no match for a much stronger field in the G3 Gallorette Stakes at Pimlico two weeks ago, but she’s a winner over this Penn National course and she’s the one they’re going to have to run down in order to win.  There is enough other speed signed on in the form of UNBRIDLED ESCAPE (9/2), SMOKINPADDYLASSIE (6/1) and SOUPER STRIKING (7/2) that there could be some pace on, which would create some intrigue in ENCHANTED GHOST (4/1) and the TANDA’S JOY/IT’S A JOURNEY (8/1) entry. 

Race 9 – PA Governor’s Cup

The chess game in this race will be interesting to watch as PURE SENSATION (7/5) and COMPLETED PASS (8/5) are drawn inside and both have one way of going – on the front-end.  Each has great tactical speed and they could well duel themselves into submission.  If that’s the case, SQUARE SHOOTER (7/2) will be flying late.  He finished a close-up sixth behind Imprimis and Bound for Nowhere in the G2 Shakertown in April at Keeneland.  You can even make a case for SIRALFREDTHEGREAT (6/1) if he sits third and tries to pick them off late.  His trainer, Kathleen DeMasi, is hitting at a 33% rate at Penn National this year.   

Race 10 – Penn Oaks

Chad Brown is North America’s premier turf trainer and his Penn Oaks entrant, REGAL GLORY (6/5), looks like a standout in here.  She finished second in the G2 Appalachian last time out and the only real concern I have is she may get caught too far (or wide) behind an expected slow pace and not be able to make up the ground late.  Both ALASAAYIL (7/2) and IONIC (3/1) have more tactical speed and will likely get the jump.  I can’t advocate using all three horses at a short price, but IONIC and ALASAAYIL are worth considering. 

Race 11 – Grade 2 Penn Mile

A THREAD OF BLUE (5/2) nearly stole the G2 American Turf last out at Churchill and that race was significantly deeper than this one.  What I like most about A THREAD OF BLUE is he doesn’t ‘need’ the lead (as evidenced by his stalking victory in the G3 Palm Beach), he’s quick enough to take a field gate-to-wire.  The one-mile distance here should hit him right between the eyes.  His rider, Luis Saez, will play a bit of a chess match early with Ty Kennedy aboard REAL NEWS (5/1) and Trevor McCarthy on EMPIRE OF WAR (9/2) as all three have shown forward speed.  A pace duel would benefit FORTY UNDER (7/2).  He won the G3 Pilgrim Stakes last fall at Belmont and was 6th in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.  THE BLACK ALBUM (15/1) isn’t a horse that I love here but his ML price is way too high and could make him usable in multi-race exotics. 

My Late Pick 4 Ticket

Race 8: 1, 2, 7
Race 9: 1, 2, 3, 4
Race 10: 7
Race 11: 2, 5
Ticket Cost ($1): $24.00