Dettori gives Poolside With Slim a perfect trip to win Penn Oaks (2024)

Trainer Rusty Arnold told Daily Racing Form earlier this week that Poolside With Slim was “unfortunate to draw the one hole in her last two starts, and we’ve been forced” to get close to the pace.

After scratches were announced for Friday’s $150,000 Penn Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at one mile, Poolside With Slim again broke from the rail post, but this time, for the first time, she had the legendary Frankie Dettori as her jockey.

That might have made all the difference.

Dettori gave Poolside With Slim a perfect pace-tracking, ground-saving trip, and they had just enough in the tank to hold off Nice as Pie’s late surge by a diminishing head in 1:33.59 over the firm turf course.

Pounce bounced to the lead under Javier Castellano and set fractions of 23.14 seconds and 47.21 while shadowed by Pink Polkadots, as Poolside With Slim tracked just behind the pacesetters in third position.

Pounce opened up on Pink Polkadots after a six-furlong clocking in 1:10.44, but Dettori angled Poolside With Slim off the inside for clear aim, made the lead without much fuss, and then stayed strong.

Nice as Pie trailed the field, cut the corner turning for home under Umberto Rispoli, followed Poolside With Slim to midstretch, and then just fell short. Pounce was another 2 3/4 lengths behind in third.

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Then came Neom Beach, Pink Polkadots, J Rivers, Crown Imperial, Dazzlin’ Dictator, Living Magic, and Photo Finish. Horses racing on the rail at some point rounded out the top three spots after inside speed won the first two turf races on the program.

Takemetothebeach and Buttercream Babe scratched.

Poolside With Slim returned $5.60 to win as the betting favorite.

Trained by Arnold, Poolside With Slim was cross-entered in Saturday’s Grade 3 Regret at Churchill Downs, but found the right competition and more comfortable distance in the Penn Oaks.

Bred in Ireland by Kilweelran Ltd, Poolside With Slim was purchased for $105,700 as a Goffs yearling and races for Glenn Bromagen II and Patrick Lewis.

A daughter of Churchill, Poolside With Slim graduated in her second lifetime start, a maiden special weight over Gulfstream’s Tapeta surface on Feb. 3. She then finished fourth in Tampa’s Grade 3 Florida Oaks and fifth in Keeneland’s Grade 2 Appalachian in her two starts leading up to the Penn Oaks.

Poolside With Slim has won 2 of 5 starts for earnings of $149,075.

Lyphard Stakes

Stern Chaser took the field gate to wire in the $100,000 Lyphard for Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

Ridden by Paco Lopez for trainer Michael Matz, Stern Chaser made the lead when no other rider seemed very interested in carving out the fractions, came off the inside turning into the stretch, and held sway by three-quarters of a length over uncoupled stablemate Lady Outofthe Blue. Princess Javonica was third.

On the Shortlist, the favorite, tracked the pace three wide, made a brief bid on the second turn, and faded to sixth.

Stern Chaser completed the distance in 1:41.14 and returned $9 to win.

Dangled for a $24,000 maiden-claiming tag at Laurel last summer, Stern Chaser won that race in front-running fashion, then campaigned in allowance events in her five subsequent starts.

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In her most recent run prior to the Lyphard, Stern Chaser finished last of 10 in a $25,000 starter allowance on Feb. 17 at Gulfstream.

A 5-year-old mare by Astern, Stern Chaser is a homebred campaigned by Greg and Caroline Bentley’s Runnymoore Racing. Her older half-sister, the multiple stakes-placed In a Spin, finished fifth in the Lyphard.

With Anticipation Stakes

Fierce and Strong stretched out in distance after winning his seasonal debut at five furlongs on the Penn National sod, grabbed the early advantage under Julio Hernandez, and then rolled in the stretch to capture the $100,000 With Anticipation for Pennsylvania-breds at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Trained by Michael Salvaggio Jr., Fierce and Strong completed the distance in 1:39.78 while 2 3/4 lengths better than favored Crisper with A Western Yarn another neck back in third.

Fierce and Strong, a 4-year-old gelding by Hoppertunity, returned $20 to win.

A homebred owned by Ultra Championship Racing, Fierce and Strong failed in his first seven starts on dirt but blossomed when making his turf debut at Penn National during the spring of 2023.

Fierce and Strong has now won 5 of 6 grass starts, with the lone loss on the surface coming when second, beaten a neck, in a $16,000 starter allowance on Aug. 10. The With Anticipation was his stakes debut.

Fabulous Strike Stakes

Despite missing some time since his last race due to a foot issue, Get Set was ready to go in the $50,000 Fabulous Strike Stakes at six furlongs for 3-year-olds and up who have started at Penn National and not won a stakes race since Oct. 25, 2023.

Get Set popped a 97 Beyer Speed Figure when dominating an optional-claiming group on March 29 at Laurel, but trainer Jamie Ness mentioned earlier in the week that the gelding might be “a work or two short.”

Ness was pleased with Get Set’s most recent morning activity, however, and had him fit enough to rally from off the pace under Jaime Rodriguez to best Tudox Opportunity by a length in 1:10.25 over the fast track. Nazareno was another length behind in third.

Get Set paid $6.20 as the second choice in the betting.

A 7-year-old by Awesome of Course, Get Set was bred in Pennsylvania by Joseph Mark Imbesi. Claimed for $25,000 at Parx Racing last fall on behalf of Madison Avenue Racing Stable and Jagger Inc., Get Set has now won 3 of 6 starts for Ness. Overall, he boasts six victories from 41 lifetime starts for earnings of $292,930.

Penn Ladies Dash

New Hire settled off a solid early pace under jockey Tyler Conner, made a three-wide bid on the turn, and then grinded down Fee to win the $50,000 Penn Ladies Dash for fillies and mares. Could Be a Cougar was third after six furlongs in 1:11.11.

Trained by Erin McClellan, New Hire has now won 6 of 10 starts at Penn National. Thrice stakes-placed going into the Penn Ladies Dash, New Hire received some class relief Friday after facing the talented Morning Matcha when fifth in Parx’s Unique Bella Stakes for Pennsylvania-breds on April 22.

A homebred owned by Tom Coulter’s Arrowwood Farm, New Hire is a 5-year-old mare by Lookin At Lucky. She returned $3.20 as the prohibitive favorite.

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Dettori gives Poolside With Slim a perfect trip to win Penn Oaks (2024)
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