On Sunday (Sept. 16) afternoon, Harrah's Philadelphia will host a quartet of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes finals for 2-year-olds of each sex and gait, offering well over $1 million in purses -- and the equine talent surely matches the purses for which they will compete.
Pacing fillies square off in race nine, and Fashion Farms' Gallie Bythe Beach (post one) seems the likely filly to beat. Having won five of seven races, the Somebeachsomewhere filly has only seen defeat at suburban Toronto's Mohawk Racetrack, finishing a narrowly beaten second in the She's A Great Lady final after a third-place effort in her elimination. Prior to that, she proved victorious in all three of her Sire Stakes preliminary races. John Campbell will drive Gallie Bythe Beach for trainer Jim Campbell.
Other three-time PASS winners in the field are Tyra (post six), who has five wins to her name as well for CC Racing, and the Purple Haze Stables and Conrad Zurich's Beach Body (post seven). Tim Tetrick will drive Tyra, who comes in following a Historic Stake victory over the Philadelphia oval for trainer Joann Looney-King, while Ron Pierce handles the lines of Beach Body for trainer Chris Oakes.
Trotting fillies take to the track in race 10, and Fashion Farms' Cooler Schooner drew the outside post eight after her remarkable 1:51.3 win at Pocono and a 1:54.2 win locally in Sire Stakes preliminaries. The Campbell brothers team up again as driver and trainer, respectively. The likely standout is Merrie Annabelle runner-up Lifetime Pursuit (post seven), who has proven victorious in five of six starts, including a trio of PASS preliminary wins. Yannick Gingras handles the driving duties for Brittany Farms and trainer Jimmy Takter.
Trotting colts and geldings follow in the 11th, with six-time winner Exodus Hanover (post three) and three-time winner Uva Hanover (post five) earning the headlines through the preliminaries. Both took three PASS legs through the summer, and Exodus Hanover also has a Reynolds and a Historic win to his name. Andy Miller drives Exodus Hanover for the Frassetto Estate, Kenneth Klein, Old Block Stables, and owner/trainer Steve Elliott while David Miller has been named to drive Uva Hanover by Linda Toscano for the Stake Your Claim Stable and Martin Sternberg.
Pacing colts and geldings wrap up the Sire Stakes action, with their $260,000 final (all four events carry that purse) carded as race 12. Martin Scharf, Larry Bond and Hal Hewitt's Let's Drink On It (post one) won his Metro Pace elimination at Mohawk in 1:51.1, but suffered an interference break in the final. Prior to that, he was victorious in two PASS prelims. Tim Tetrick has been listed to drive the 8-5 morning line favorite for trainer Joe Seekman.
Meanwhile, the VIP Internet Stable and Michael Foti's Allstar Partner (post four) has finished no worse than second in all eight starts this year, including two PASS wins, a Historic win, and most recently, a win against older company, facing non-winners of six races in a local 1:52.1 win. Corey Callahan will drive for trainer John Butenschoen.
Post time for the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship card is 12:40 p.m. (EDT).(Harrah's Philadelphia)