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Jul 12, 2013

Top three from Penn Mile highlight Virginia Derby


New Kent, VA (Sports Network) - The first three under the wire from last month's Penn Mile lead a field of 10 3-year-olds into Saturday's $500,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs.

Penn Mile champ Rydilluc will start from post 4 in the 1 1/4-mile turf race with Edgar Prado again in the saddle. The 3-year-old won the inaugural Penn Mile by little less than a length over Charming Kitten with Jack Milton in third.

Trained by Gary Contessa, Rydilluc won the Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 3 and followed with a fourth in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 13.

Rydilluc has banked $471,990 with four wins in six lifetime starts.

Charming Kitten, trained by Todd Pletcher, will be to Rydilluc's immediate inside and have Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Joel Rosario riding.

Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Charming Kitten began the year with a win in the Kitten's Joy at Gulfstream Park and a second to Rydilluc in Gulfstream's Palm Beach Stakes. Between a third in the Blue Grass Stakes and the Penn Mile, the colt was ninth in the Kentucky Derby.

With two wins in nine starts, Charming Kitten has earned $349,000.

Owner Gary Barber has another Todd Pletcher-trained colt in the race. Jack Milton will break from post 5 with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez riding.

Jack Milton finished a nose behind Charming Kitten for third in the Penn Mile in just his fourth career start. He captured the Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland four weeks earlier. The colt has banked $144,500 in his short career.

Here is the complete field in post position order: Bethel, Sheldon Russell; Redwood Kitten, Joel Rosario; Charming Kitten, Joel Rosario; Rydilluc, Edgar Prado; Jack Milton, John Velazquez; War Dancer, Alan Garcia; Readyshakego, Forest Boyce; Gefest, Luis Garcia; Fear the Kitten, Horacio Karamanos and Draw Two, Jose Lezcano.

The Virginia Derby has an approximate post-time of 8:12 p.m. (ET).

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