By Dick Downey
After a five-month layoff, Moon Colony came up the rail under Julien Leparoux to win the Penn Mile for trainer Mark Casse at upset odds of 9-1.
The race at Penn National unfolded with Real News setting a pace of 22.71, 47.60 and 1:12.63 attended by 7-5 favorite A Thread of Blue around the first turn, up the backstretch and around the far turn. After those two hit the stretch, Luis Saez roused A Thread of Blue, but Real News, ridden by Ty Kennedy fought back and still led with a furlong left as A Thread of Blue began to regress.
The late-running Moon Colony broke from post 1 and saved ground throughout while in sixth position the first half of the race. He got by the leader and drew away in the final 100 yards while Casa Creed ran to the outside of the first flight to get up for second, beaten 1 1/4 length. Real News finished another 3/4 length back in third.
Those three were followed by A Thread of Blue, beaten 6 3/4 lengths, Fluminense, The Black Album, Conative and Forty Under. Empire of War was scratched.
The winner, timed in 1:37.45 on a turf course rated yielding, was no stranger to the going, having broke his maiden on a soft turf course at Keeneland last October.
Moon Colony had been away from the races since finishing a close fifth in the 7 1/2-furlong Kitten's Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 5. The Grade II Penn Mile was the third win from seven career starts for the son of Uncle Mo, who was competing in a graded stake for the first time.
St. Elias Stable bred Moon Colony in Kentucky, and he's owned by John Oxley.
POST-RACE QUOTES PENDING