Wow What Summer and Tyler Conner post an 83-1 upset in the $400,000 Penn Mile Stakes at Penn National
Benefitting from a savvy mid-race move to the lead by jockey Tyler Conner, Jeremy Brooks’ homebred Wow Whata Summer posted an 83-1 upset over odds-on favorite Annapolis in Friday’s Grade 2, $400,000 Penn Mile Stakes at Penn National racecourse in Grantville, Pa.
Trained by James Lawrence II, Wow Whata Summer – a 3-year-old by the War Front stallion Summer Front – paid a whopping $168.60 on a $2 wager after covering one mile on soft turf in 1:42.39. Annapolis, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., finished second as the 1-2 favorite, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, with Uncaptured and Angel Suarez third in the field of eight 3-year-olds. Completing the order of finish were Red Danger, Fort Washington, Ohtwoohthreefive, Witty and Noneedtoworry.
The Penn Mile was one of six stakes offering $950,000 on the 11-race card at Penn National, and Wow Whata Summer gave Conner the second of three stakes wins on the night. The leading rider at the current meet teamed with Erin McClellan-trained Maldives Model to win the first stakes of the program, the $100,000 Lyphard Stakes, then completed his triple aboard Nimitz Class for trainer Bruce Kravets in the Danzig Stakes. Both Maldives Model and Nimitz Class are owned by Tom Coulter.
The other three stakes went to Joseph Imbesi’s odds-on favorite Buy Land and See for trainer Anthony Dutrow and jockey Flavien Prat in the With Anticipation; Chad Brown-trained, Prat-ridden Haughty, the odds-on favorite in the Penn Oaks for a partnership of Bradley Thoroughbreds, Belmar Racing and Breeding LLC, Tim Cambron, Anna Cambron, and Team Hanley; and Joseph Besecker’s 7-5 favorite Bazinga, trained by Timothy Kreiser and ridden by Horacio Karamanos, in the New Start Stakes.
Conner hugged the rail throughout the Penn Mile after breaking from the two post. He settled into fourth early as Uncaptured Spirit set fractions of :24.08 for the opening quarter mile and :49.50 for the half. Moving boldly along the rail to take on the front-runner in the run down the backstretch, Conner and Wow Whata Summer seized command before hitting the far turn and held a 1 1/2-length advantage with a quarter of a mile to go after six furlongs in 1:14.43.
Annapolis and Ortiz raced to the outside of Uncaptured Spirit in third position for much of the way, but had too much to do after Wow Whata Summer took over the lead and cruised to the wire without ever being seriously challenged.
The victory was the second in seven starts for Wow Whata Summer, whose only previous victory came via disqualification in his career debut at Colonial Downs last July 20. He’s been stakes placed since then, and was third in his only 2022 start, an allowance race sprint at Laurel on April 23.