Southwind Roulette and Well Hello There won Pennsylvania Sires Stakes divisions Friday at The Meadows, giving Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke a sweep of the $223,960 event for 2-year-old filly pacers.
Although Southwind Roulette captured her third PASS split and assured herself a spot in the championship, her trip Friday wasn't as memorable as her July 18 victory here, when she had to negotiate her way through a flock of angry geese. Gingras remembered — and was afraid his filly would, too.
"No joke — I looked for them at the half,” Gingras said. "Even though she didn't get scared the first time, I wanted to make sure they weren't there.”
But there was little drama Friday as Southwind Roulette quarter-poled to the lead and scored comfortably in 1:53.1, 3/4 lengths ahead of her stablemate, Kays Dragon Lady. Aria Hanover finished third, snapping her streak of PASS victories at three.
"I didn't want to be first up, so I made my move to the front and said beat me if you can,” Gingras said. "She's not the biggest filly, but she does have a big engine. Every time I've called on her, she's always answered."
Bradley Grant and Howard Taylor own the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Rio.
Gingras employed different tactics with Well Hello There, rushing her to the lead from the rail. The daughter of Well Said-Helen Of Leda easily controlled the mile, prevailing in 1:53 for Burke Racing Stable, Blue Chip Bloodstock and Our Horse Cents Stable. Ginger Tree Alex was 1-3/4 lengths back in second while Doctor Terror rallied from last for show.
"I didn't want to sit third, so I left hard the first eighth,” Gingras said. "There are a lot of good fillies around, but she fits right there with them.”
In the $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Visible Gold shot the Lightning Lane to score in 1:51.2 for Dave Palone, Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables. The first-over Giant Sculpture was second, 3/4 lengths in arrears, while Sam Hill completed the ticket despite finishing with a flat tire. Visible Gold, a 6-year-old Bettor's Delight-Gabrielle gelding, soared over $300,000 in career earnings.
Brian Zendt drove four winners on the 15-race card. (The Meadows)