The nominations list for the inaugural $500,000 Penn Mile at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course June 1 includes many of the top grass 3-year-olds currently in training.
The one-mile turf race heads a six-stakes program that includes the $250,000 Mountainview Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles and the $150,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup at five furlongs on the grass.
Among the Penn Mile nominees are Noble Tune and Balance the Books, who finished second and third, respectively, for trainer Chad Brown in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT); Jack Milton, winner of the Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT) for trainer Todd Pletcher; Rydilluc, who is 3-for-3 on grass and finished a close fourth in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) for trainer Gary Contessa; and War Dancer, who finished third behind Noble Tune in the American Turf Stakes (gr. IIT) in his last start for trainer Ken McPeek.
Grade I winners Java's War (Blue Grass Stakes) for McPeek and Power Broker (FrontRunner Stakes) for trainer Bob Baffert also are on the list. Several of the other nominees were entered in the May 25 Arlington Classic Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park.
The Penn Mile will be scheduled as the fourth race (7:22 p.m. EDT) on a 10-race program that begins at the regular post time of 6 p.m. The Penn National turf course isn't lighted, so grass races are run early on evening programs.