Major Dude recorded the third graded stakes win of his career when taking the $400,000 Penn Mile (G2) at Penn National on Friday night.
The 2-5 favorite under Irad Ortiz Jr., Major Dude wore down Behind Enemy Lines inside the final furlong to win by three parts of a length in a time of 1:33.73 on firm turf. It was 4 1/2 lengths back to 98-1 outsider Fletcher.
Owned by Spendthrift Farm and trained by Todd Pletcher, Major Dude returned $2.60.
Victorious in the Pilgrim (G2) at Aqueduct in October and in the Kitten’s Joy (G3) at Gulfstream in early February, Major Dude entered the Penn Mile off of a second-placed finish to Two Phil’s in the Jeff Ruby (G3) over nine furlongs and a half-length third in the American Turf (G2) going 1 1/16 miles.
“The one mile, flat, is beautiful for him. He appreciates the distance,” Ortiz said. “The last time, a mile and a sixteenth, was a tough race. He just got beat and fought all the way to the wire.”
Bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farm, Major Dude was a $550,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling. By Bolt d’Oro, who stands at Spendthrift, Major Dude was produced by the stakes-placed Mary Rita, by Distorted Humor.
Major Dude descends of the undefeated Hall of Fame filly Personal Ensign. Also hailing from this female family is Arabian Lion, impressive winner of the Sir Barton S. at Pimlico on Preakness Day two weeks ago.
Earlier in the card, Malleymoo registered an 11-1 upset in the $150,000 Penn Oaks for three-year-old fillies. She won by a half-length from Metaphysical, with Princess Bettina 3 1/2 lengths behind in third. Royalty Interest, the 4-5 favorite, trailed the field of five.
Owned in partnership by Rockingham Ranch, David Bernsen, Talla Racing, and JWS Racing, Malleymoo is trained by Jack Sisterson and was ridden by Trevor McCarthy. Malleymoo covered one mile on the turf in 1:34.89 and paid $24.20.
The Penn Oaks was the first stakes win for the daughter of English Channel. Her best previous finish in a black-type event was a second in the Wait a While S. at Gulfstream in December.