January 31, 2023

Annapolis, Haughty on the comeback trail at Penn National

Annapolis wins the 2021 Pilgrim (Coglianese Photography)

Penn Mile (G2) — Race 6 (7:45 p.m. ET)

Two three-year-olds, one who missed the Breeders’ Cup last fall and one who didn’t, are the early favorites in Penn National’s signature events on Friday.

Annapolis, an intended starter in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Del Mar before he was sidelined with an ankle chip, is the early 9-5 favorite for the $400,000 Penn Mile (G2). The Todd Pletcher trainee won both of his first two outings last fall, including the Pilgrim (G2) at Belmont Park by a head.

Also entered in the field of eight are multiple stakes winner Red Danger, seventh in the American Turf (G2) most recently; Fort Washington, who’s placed in stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and Aqueduct in his last two; and Witty, a blowout winner of his last three starts sprinting on the dirt.

Haughty, a close third in the key edition of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) when last seen, was installed as the 4-5 favorite in the $150,000 Penn Oaks for three-year-old fillies, also at one mile.

Sent off at 6-1 in the Breeders’ Cup following a four-length maiden win at Keeneland, Haughty rallied in the final furlong to finish less than a length behind Pizza Bianca, who is presently bound for Royal Ascot. Juvenile Fillies Turf runner-up Malavath won the Prix Imprudence (G3) in her season debut April 7, while Cachet, who finished fourth, won the 1000 Guineas (G1) and was narrowly beaten in the Group 1 French equivalent in her follow-up.

Another Chad Brown trainee entered in the Oaks is Customer List, a daughter of Wootton Bassett who captured her only prior start, a maiden at Monmouth Park in September, by 2 1/4 lengths.

Also entered were Alittleloveandluck, who captured the Ginger Brew S. at Gulfstream in January, and Belacqua, who makes her U.S. and turf debut for Graham Motion after winning two of three starts over all-weather surfaces in England last term.