Penn Mile- Nobility, Charm, Riddles & Jokes?

Penn Mile’s Field Means Business, No Kidding

$500,000 Penn MileSaturday, June 1st, the $500,000 Penn Mile line-up sounds like a page out of medieval times or a really lame nursery rhyme, but all the same it will be a turf race you don’t want to miss. Set at one mile, this 8 horse field of three year olds will battle it out for the richest race in the Penn National track’s history and will showcase some of the best turf horses in racing today. In my opinion, there are 4 top contenders I will be looking at for all wagering purposes- Noble Tune, Charming Kitten, Rydilluc and Are You Kidding Me.

Leading the Field, Noble Tune Tunes Up

Noble TuneNoble Tune is the 2/1 morning line favorite this Saturday, especially since he has won 4 of his 5 starts. The one race he didn’t win was the Grade 1 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf last November, where he finished 2nd behind George Vancouver by 1 1/4 lengths in a late, impressive rally. As his only real flaw on paper, if you could call it that,  it’s hard to justify why Noble Tune wouldn’t be a winner in Saturday’s Penn Mile.

His most recent win was in the May 3rd Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill Downs. Coming from as far back as 5th, Noble Tune made his move, angled in and beat the rest of the field by 1 3/4 lengths at the finish. Trainer Chad Brown had this to say about the horse, singing Noble Tune’s praises-


“He is training very well and I am extremely happy with how he is coming into the race. Going into the American Turf, he was training better than I had ever seen him and I expected a big effort. I am looking forward to Saturday and it should be a great race.”

Riddle Me This, Kitten- Can You Stop Rydilluc?

RydillucRydilluc is the 2nd morning line favorite at 5/2 and many are impressed with this horse. And who wouldn’t be? Prior to his 4th place finish in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, Rydilluc was on a 3 win streak, going away every time on his preferred surface. Now that he is back on the turf again, he should be tough to beat and has the times to prove it. If you compare his works from prior to his 3 1/2 length win in the Palm Beach to his most recent works leading up to the Penn Mile, he’s showing the signs that he is ready for this one and then some.  This horse loves to go to the lead and I believe he will come Saturday. If so, and no other horse fights him for the lead, Rydilluc could easily run this one from wire-to-wire and never look back.

Charming KittenBut depending on the pace he sets, he should look back just to make sure Noble Tune and Charming Kitten aren’t on his heels, as they should be. Charming Kitten comes into the Penn mile at a morning line of 4 to 1 and is familiar with Rydilluc having run 2nd behind him in the Palm Beach and having beat him in the Blue Grass. Charming Kitten’s last outing was in a little race called the Kentucky Derby, where although finishing 9th, made for an impressive run since it was his first trip on the dirt and what’s more, the slop we all witnessed Derby day. I feel that Noble Tune and Rydilluc should be concerned about the Kitten who gained a lot of experience in his last 2 races and is now returning from out of the litter box and back onto the grass! trainer Todd Pletcher feels the same-


“We’ve always felt like Charming Kitten’s favored surface was the turf. He is versatile and handles multiple surfaces. We took a shot in the Derby and we thought he ran a big race there for his first dirt effort; he showed some guts and determination. Now it’s back to his preferred surface.”


No Kidding- Are You Kidding Me Could Upset

Are You Kidding MeAre You Kidding Me, the 12 to 1 morning line long-shot  has got the goods to upset all of the horses in the Penn Mile. While he may not look like much on paper at first glance, his times are just as good, if not better than Noble Tune and he has shown great signs of improvement in his races along the way leading up to the Penn Mile. He has also been showing some solid work outs as of late and looks to be primed for this race. Pace and traffic will always be a factor of course, but given the right circumstances, I see Are You Kidding Me pulling of a major upset and he will definitely get a wager from me. Now I know some of you will not agree, but this horse is definitely worth another look or you might miss out on a nice pay-out as Are You Kidding Me laughs this one all the way in.


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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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