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Penn Mile Odds: Behind Enemy Lines Has a Big Shot Here

Written by: Brian Zipse
Updated May 30, 2023
11 min read

Penn Mile Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the Penn Mile Stakes at Penn National!

PP

Horse

Odds

Jockey

Trainer

1

MOVISITOR

20/1
BET HERE

A Beschizza

E Vaughan

2

MAJOR DUDE

7/5
BET HERE 

I Ortiz Jr

T Pletcher

3

FLETCHER

30/1
BET HERE 

J Barbosa

J L Lawrence II

4

UPSTATE AND BACK

30/1
BET HERE 

T Conner

N Agnew

5

RECRUITER

6/1
BET HERE 

J Ruiz

C Lynch

6

TUSKEGEE AIRMEN

6/1
BET HERE 

F Pennington

J C Servis

7

BEHIND ENEMY LINES

9/2
BET HERE 

F Prat

J Sisterson

8

CANDIDATE

3/1
BET HERE 

T McCarthy

A Delacour

Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.

Penn Mile Stakes Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

  • $5 Exacta Part Wheel - Behind Enemy Lines and Major Dude over Behind Enemy Lines, Major Dude, Candidate, and Recruiter  = $30
  • $10 Exacta Box - Behind Enemy Lines and Major Dude = $20
  • If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Behind Enemy Lines (9/2).    

TwinSpires

4.4/5

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Penn Mile

Major Dude and Candidate, who split stakes victories earlier this season in Florida, will renew their rivalry when they top a field of eight young turf horses in Friday’s Grade 2 Penn Mile Stakes at Penn National. 

The Todd Pletcher-trained Major Dude will likely go favored off a series of strong efforts this season. After running second behind Candidate in the Dania Beach Stakes in January, he quickly gained revenge in the Grade 3 Kitten’s Joy Stakes. 

After that the son of Bolt d’Oro finished second to the Kentucky Derby runner-up Two Phil’s in the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks, before finishing a close-up third last time in the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill Downs.

His rival has only made one start since their split decision stakes victories. A son of Exaggerator, Candidate finished sixth in the Grade 3 Transylvania at Keeneland eight weeks ago.

The Arnaud Delacour-trainee did not have the best of trips that afternoon, though, and was beaten only four lengths.

Another to watch out for in the $400,000 Penn Mile is Behind Enemy Lines. Bred in England, the Sioux Nation colt won once in two starts in Ireland before being sent to the U.S. 

Since arriving to the Jack Sisterson barn, he’s won the Cutler Bay Stakes at Gulfstream Park, before finishing less than four lengths behind Major Dude last time in the American Turf after a slow start. 

Penn Mile Stakes Predictions and Race Analysis

Major Dude

Trained by Todd Pletcher, this son of Bolt d’Oro has proven to be a very nice horse on any surface. Second to the Kentucky Derby runner-up Two Phil’s on an artificial surface two starts back, he returned to turf last time and was right there against a strong field in the Grade 2 American Turf. 

He also got the better of his top rival here last time they met when he won the Grade 3 Kitten’s Joy down at Gulfstream Park in February. 

Easily the most accomplished horse in the race, he has good tactical speed and will be ridden by top jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. on Friday. He is the one they all have to beat.

Candidate

This son of Exaggerator looked very good in winning his first three races on the turf. He showed plenty of speed in each, so I look for him to be more involved early than he was in his last two races, which were both losses. 

It’s hard to fault his overall record, as he did have some trouble at the start last time, and he ran first and second in his two races against Major Dude before that. 

Still, I like his rival better on recent form. With other speed in the race to make his task more difficult, I only like him third best in the Penn Mile.

Behind Enemy Lines

This European import has won half his lifetime starts, including a stakes win at Gulfstream Park in his first start in the country. 

Trained by Jack Sisterson, he came up short last time in the American Turf, but that was a deep field, and his trip was not great. Given the shorter field here, and the slight cut back in distance, this race should suit him perfectly. 

With Flavien Prat coming in to ride, I am expecting a good trip. I believe he has a big shot here, and will have favorable odds compared to Major Dude. He is the top pick.

Recruiter

Already a five-time winner in six career starts, this son of Army Mule obviously has some talent. He also likely has the most speed in the field. His first six races have all come on dirt, so his liking for turf will be a big question. 

He also backed out badly in his only previous try against graded stakes company. This looks like a better spot for him then the Gotham was, though, provided he takes to the grass. 

A ten-length winner in a local allowance race recently, there can be no doubt that he is ready for the assignment. He is a threat on the front.

Tuskegee Airmen

Once a promising unbeaten stakes winner, this son of Street Sense will look to get his career going again after a pair of disappointing efforts in New York. One came last fall, and then another less than three weeks ago. 

Now 2-of-4 lifetime, there is still some reason to believe that he can be a stakes horse after winning his first two career starts in impressive fashion, but he will need to show improvement.

This will be his debut on the grass, and it seems like he has found a pretty difficult spot. I cannot completely dismiss him, but I am liking others better here.

Movisitor

A son of Uncle Mo, this one will be making his fourth start on the grass on Friday. In his first three, he has not come close to winning. 

His latest performance was a bit of an improvement but came against the allowance company at Keeneland. 

In his two previous tries against graded stakes horses, he was not a factor. Even with the addition of blinkers, I can’t back him against this bunch.

Fletcher

This speedy son of Blofeld will likely not be quick enough to get the lead on Saturday as he makes his turf debut. 

Although he has finished in the top three in four out of his last five starts, he has been well beaten in his last two. His future success will likely come back against fellow Pennsylvania state-birds. 

He might be close to the leaders early, but against competition like this, he is likely to throw in the towel when the real running begins. 

Upstate and Back

This Pennsylvania-bred son of Uptowncharlybrown will be making his first career start on the turf on Friday. A winner of 3-of-10 lifetime, this will also be his first start against a graded stakes company. 

When last seen, he chased Recruiter early before being outclassed by that rival, and was ultimately beaten 10 lengths. 

In looking at his past performances, it’s pretty clear that his wins have come against cheaper, and when he faces good horses, he is well beaten. I find him hard to recommend here.

TwinSpires

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How to Watch the Penn Mile Stakes

  • What: Penn Mile Stakes (Grade 2)
  • Location: Penn National
  • Time: Friday, June 2 -- 7:45 pm Eastern time
  • How to Watch: FanDuel TV
  • Purse: $400,000
21+ | Terms and conditions apply
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Image for Brian Zipse

AUTHOR

Brian Zipse

288 Articles

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]

More info on Brian Zipse
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