Undefeated Annapolis takes center stage at a track that rarely takes center stage – Penn National – for Friday evening’s Grade 2 $400K Penn Mile. The Pennsylvania track holds court as the site of six stakes, including the $150K Penn Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.

Annapolis-Penn Mile
The last time we saw Annapolis, he was winning the Grade 2 Pilgrim Stakes over Portfolio Company last October. He’s the 9/5 morning line favorite for Friday’s Grade 2 Penn Mile at Penn National. (Image: Coglianese Photos/Susie Raisher)

Annapolis makes his 3-year-old debut as the 9/5 favorite on the grass in the Penn Mile. He hasn’t run since winning the Grade 2 Pilgrim Stakes last October at Belmont Park.

That was the War Front colt’s second victory in as many races, coming by a head as the 3/5 favorite over Portfolio Company, who’s also in the Penn Mile field.

But expect Annapolis to leave the Penn National gate at lower odds than his 9/5 morning line. Aside from Todd Pletcher calling the training shots and Irad Ortiz Jr. parachuting in from New York to ride, Annapolis was headed to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last year.

Annapolis sidelined by ankle chip

He was expected to be one of the favorites, the product of that Pilgrim Stakes score and a maiden-breaking debut by 4 ½ lengths at Saratoga as the 7/5 favorite. But Pletcher scratched Annapolis due to an ankle chip that later required surgery.

That put Annapolis on the shelf for five months. He came off it on March 28 for the first of 10 breezes under Pletcher’s direction. Three of them were bullets, including a five-furlong 1:02.05 at Belmont Park that was the fastest of 14 at that distance.

Annapolis came out of the multiple Grade 1-placed Unbridled’s Song mare My Miss Sophia in what could best be described as a package deal. She brought a $4 million price when sold with Annapolis in utero at the 2018 Keeneland November Sale.

Penn Mile brings the boys from New York

Illustrating the track’s rare turn in the spotlight, Annapolis isn’t the only New Yorker migrating south for the Penn Mile. Ohtwoohthreefive and Fort Washington join him. Ohtwoohthreefive already has four starts in 2022, with only a third in a May Belmont Park allowance to show for it. He is stakes-placed, with a runner-up in last November’s Black-Type Central Park Stakes at Aqueduct on the ledger.

Fort Washington has four races total on the ledger. He hasn’t missed the board yet (1-1-2), with a second in the Black-Type Woodhaven and a third in the Listed Columbia this year.

Along with the New York equine imports, the Penn Mile came with some riding star power. Joining them from New York are Ortiz, Flavien Prat, and Kendrick Carmouche.