Penn National Picks
About Penn National
Penn National statistics, track bias and information
Penn National Race Course, also known as the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, is located in Grantville, Pa.,and has been in operation since 1972. The casino was opened in 2008.
It is approximately 17 miles east ofHarrisburg and is currently owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, which is based in Wyomissing, Pa.
As well as regular live race-days throughout the year, the track also hosts a number of entertainment events, simulcast racing, and a museum.
Live racing takes place in the evening, with live race-days being staged on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. It is one of the few tracks which offers live racing 52 weeks a year.
Racing takes place on both the conventional dirt and turf course. The latter is seven furlongs long, while the main track is a mile in circumference.
The track doesn’t host many graded races; however, there are a number of stakes races that take place throughout the year. The Penn Mile is the standout event at the track and is currently (as of 2019) the only graded event. It is a Grade II and commands a purse of over$500,000.
Penn National Racetrack History
The track first opened its doors on Aug. 30,1972. A law had passed five years earlier that enabled pari-mutuel wagering in the state, and a number of companies, including Penn National Gaming, were awarded licenses. The original complex also featured a motor speedway, which held its first event in 1971.
A number of other racetracks struggled to get off the ground, with Pitt Park changing its name to Mountainview ThoroughbredRacing Association and moving all of its events to Penn National in 1973.
After a few years of financial struggle, they sold these race meets to Philadelphia insurance businessman Peter D. Carlino, who continued to be a tenant of Penn National and held a 100-day race meet each year.
The Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Stakes was held for the first time in 1973 and became a Grade III event in 1982. This inaugural event was the only time that it has been split into two divisions, with Kiss and Run and Mr. Correlation both entering the Winner’s Enclosure. It is competed over the five furlongs and is open to horses aged 3 years and above.
In 1976, Visier was victorious; however, he was subsequently disqualified and relegated to third place.
The turf track was officially opened in 1978and enabled the track to bulk out its racing schedule.
Carlino’s son became Penn National’s first CEO in 1994 following a restructure, and he remained in this position for nine years. Just two years later, the track purchased Pocono Downs and Charles Town racetracks while it also acquired the operations of Garden State Park.
The Penn Mile Stakes was inaugurated in 2013 and was upgraded to a Grade III in 2015. Two years later, it became a Grade II event.
In sprint events on the main track, PennNational tends to favor an early pace. The trip to the first bend is relatively short, and that can often help horses who get their head in front early.
There is very little advantage to early pacesetters on the turf track with races tending to play out fairly.
Penn National has hosted a number of live race-days throughout 2019, and there has been a fairly even split of post positions in races held over the sprint distance. Stall four was the most profitable, with18.7 percent of winners beginning the race in this position.
Winners came from stall five in 17.1 percent of races, while stall three was also fairly productive with over 16 percent.The inside stalls showed a bit of a disappointing return, with 11.8 percent of winners coming from stall one.
On the outside, five of the 30 runners from stall 10 were victorious (16.7 percent). Only one of the 10 runners from stall11 entered the Winner’s Enclosure.
Over the longer trip, the results were very evenly spread. Stall five was once again yielding a decent return at 17.2 percent.Stall seven brought 16.4 percent of winners, while stalls one, two and three all produced over 15 percent.
Only two of the 23 runners drawn in stall 10were victorious, while none of the 10 runners drawn in the outside two stalls were able to get their head in front.
On the turf course, the inside stalls appear to be at a bit of a disadvantage, with stalls two and three each producing just9.2 percent. Stall nine showed just 9.7 percent and didn’t fare much better.Stalls four, five and six all showed fairly steady numbers, while stall 10produced an impressive 17.6 percent return.
There are a number of trainers who regularly send runners to this Pennsylvania track, and they have the knack of producing winners on a regular basis. Here are some of the key handlers to look out for.
● Jamie Ness – 39% Strike Rate
● Brandon Kulp – 30% Strike Rate
● Timothy Kreiser – 27% Strike Rate
● Kathleen Demasi – 26% Strike Rate
● Erin McClellan – 22% Strike Rate
● Lester Stickler Jr. – 21% StrikeRate
● Rodrigo Madrigal Sr. – 20% StrikeRate
● Michael Salvaggio Jr. – 19% StrikeRate
There are a number of talented riders who regularly ride on both the dirt and turf tracks. These talented jockeys know how to get the best out of their mount, and they regularly produce winners atPenn National.
● Julien Leparoux – 50% Strike Rate
● Angel Suarez – 38% Strike Rate
● Edwin Gonzales – 30% Strike Rate
● Inoel Beaton – 21% Strike Rate
● Tyler Connor – 21% Strike Rate
● Julio Hernandez – 18% Strike Rate
● Andrew Wolfsont – 11% Strike Rate
● Maicol Inirio – 11% Strike Rate
● Wilfredo Corujo – 11% Strike Rate
Penn National hosts racing 52 weeks a year, and simulcast betting is available 365 days a year. Race meets tend to take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, with race cards typically consisting of eight races.
There are a number of stakes races that are hosted by the track, though there is only one graded event – the Penn Mile.
● Penn Mile
● Lyphard Stakes
● Danzig Stakes
● New Start Stakes
● Penn Oaks
● Penn Ladies Dash
● Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup
● Robellino Stakes
● Fabulous Strike Stakes
● Swatara Stakes
● Blue Mountain Stakes
Penn National Race Course address
777 Hollywood BlvdGrantville, PA 17028