Sir Richard Z Tam kicked off Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (PASS) action for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia with a national season's best 1:51.4 victory in the first of five $70,795 divisions.
Sent off the 1-5 favorite off a 1:52.2 win in his career debut July 5 in a conditioned event at Philadelphia, Sir Richard Z Tam controlled the tempo with trainer-driver Pat Lachance and then needed all of a last quarter of :27.1 to hold off the late-charging Johns Polyview and driver John Campbell. Clint Westwood was third for David Miller.
A member of sire Somebeachsomewhere's first crop, Sir Richard Z Tam is out of the Western Ideal mare World Of Her Own, whose dam is the $1.9 million-winner Worldly Beauty. Sir Richard Z Tam was a $35,000 yearling purchase by Lachance in partnership with Ira Rosenblum and Z Tam Stables.
Double The Dragon overcame a tough first-over trip past the half in the second PASS split to win in 1:52. Driver Ron Pierce got away fourth after leaving from the outside post eight, but after favorite Cowboy Terrier and Ray Schnittker tripped the half-mile timer in :55.4 he tipped his charge to the outside.
Cowboy Terrier and Double The Dragon raced side by side through the turn and 1:24.1 three-quarters, but then the former was able to edge past his rival to go on to the victory. Good Day Mate and Brian Sears, who had the early lead but then sat third as the duo in front battled it out, came up the inside to snag second ahead of Cowboy Terrier.
A winner in a PA All Stars division July 3 in his career opener, Double The Dragon is now two-for-two after scoring his career best on Thursday. The son of Dragon Again was bred by White Birch Farm, who now shares ownership with trainer Sam DePinto's wife, Shannon, and Earl Smith.
While Sir Richard Z Tam and Double The Dragon are not eligible to the Woodrow Wilson Pace, Delaware Hanover, who scored a stunning 43-1 upset win in the third PASS division, is on the eligible list. Driven by Corey Callahan, Delaware Hanover rallied wide down the stretch from last in the field to gain the 1:53.1 victory, his second in three starts. Martini Hanover, who was an even longer longshot at odds of 59-1 with driver Pierce, finished second, with odds-on choice Santa Fe Beachboy and David Miller third.
Trained by Don Milby, Delaware Hanover is owned by Irwin Samelman, who purchased the son of Dragon Again for $80,000 as a yearling.
The fourth PASS split went to Lonewolf Currier in 1:52.3. Tim Tetrick drove for trainer Kevin McDermott as the son of The Panderosa overcame the outside post eight to keep his record perfect in three starts. Lonewold Currier cleared the lead in front of the grandstand the first time before going on to the win.
Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, Lonewolf Currier was a $110,000 yearling purchase by Fran Azur. Lonewolf Currier's siblings include a full brother, Lookout Hanover, who earned more than $400,000 on the racetrack. With his PASS score, Lonewolf Currier now has earnings of more than $54,000.
The fifth and final division went to Smokealittlesmoke, who emerged the winner after confusion late in the last turn when the pacesetting Red Rock broke stride, which took out Lex Vegas, who was alongside.
Driven by George Napolitano Jr., Smokealittlesmoke, a colt by Yankee Cruiser, left strongly and took a quick early lead, but then Tetrick came calling with the betting favorite Red Rock, a chestnut colt by The Panderosa trained by Ray Schnittker. Red Rock opened up on the field despite slow fractions of :29 and :58.1 before he was challenged by Lex Vegas, driven by Ron Pierce.
When Red Rock broke stride and wiped out Lex Vegas and others also fanned wide, Napolitano shot clear with Smokealittlesmoke, who picked up his first victory of the season, and a lifetime mark of 1:55.2. Trainer Sam DePinto, Gallicchio Racing Stable and J. Cannella own the winner.