Drop The Ball became the fastest 4-year-old pacing mare on a five-eighths-mile track when she won the $50,000 Fillies and Mares Open on Friday at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:48.4.
Yannick Gingras was in the bike for trainer Ross Croghan as the Western Terror-Mattcheck Girl mare won for the fourth time in nine season's starts, improving her 2012 bankroll to $279,250. Let It Ride Stables, Dana Parham and Robert Cooper Stables are the owners of Drop The Ball.
Ginger And Fred and driver Eric Carlson were the early leaders in this race, taking the field to the opening quarter in :27. After getting away fourth from post five, Gingras sent Drop The Ball to the lead on the first pass in front of the grandstand and she hit the half-mile marker in :55.
Gingras turned Drop The Ball loose on the backstretch and she paced a :26.4 third quarter to trip the timer in 1:21.4. From there a final panel of :27 allowed Drop The Ball to hit the finish line in 1:48.4, breaking the old world record of 1:49.2 set by Makerbark in 2009 and equaled by Higher And Higher in 2011.
Ginger And Fred finished second, 6 3/4 lengths behind the winner, with Higher And Higher third for Daryl Bier.
Sent off as the overwhelming favorite, Drop The Ball paid $2.40 to win. (USTA)