Gershwin and Joe Bravo win the Penn Mile on a sloppy track after the race was moved from the turf
Getting a perfect set-up behind dueling front-runners for the first six furlongs, Godolphin homebred Gershwin – a half-brother to Grade 1 Dubai World Cup winner Mystic Guide – scored a two-length victory under Joe Bravo in Friday evening’s $300,000 Penn Mile Stakes, a one-mile race originally scheduled on turf at Penn National race course in Grantville, Pa., but was transferred to a sloppy main track because of heavy rain.
The Penn Mile is designated as a Grade 2 race on turf by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s American Graded Stakes Committee, but was automatically downgraded to Grade 3 because of the surface switch. The AGS Committee will review this year’s running and decide whether to reinstate it to Grade 2.
The King Cheek finished second after dueling with Sibelius through fractions of :24.66, :49.13, and 1:13.75. It was 6 1/4 lengths farther back to Chess’s Dream in third, with 9-5 favorite Annex fourth and Sibelius retreating to the back of the field of five 3-year-olds at the wire. Original and Outadore were scratched.
Gershwin, a Distorted Humor colt out of G1 winner and producer Music Note, by A.P. Indy, is trained by Michael Stidham, who also trains Mystic Guide (by Ghostzapper) for Godolphin. He ran the mile on a sloppy track in 1:39.24 and paid $6.80 to win.
The quality in Gershwin’s female family goes well beyond Music Note, whose second dam is the Harbor View Farm filly It’s In the Air, co-champion 2-year-old filly in 1978 and winner of four G1 races the following year.
The victory was the second in five lifetime starts – all in 2021 – for Gershwin, who left the maiden ranks sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs ver a muddy track in his second start on Feb. 6 at Fair Grounds. He finished a well-beaten third next out on a good track at Oaklawn on March 25, then lost by a neck on a sloppy track at Churchill going a one-turn mile. The Penn Mile was the first stakes attempt.for Gershwin, who trained up to the race at Fair Hill training center in Maryland.
Gershwin broke well from the rail post but Bravo allowed The King Cheek and Sibelius to gain the advantage in the early going. He kept Gershwin well off the rail throughout and swung even wider into the stretch to make his winning move.
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