Champagne Tonight won her fourth straight and sixth overall in seven starts in the first of three divisions of the $343,162 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (PASS) for 2-year-old filly pacers Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Handsoffmycupcake led at every call to win the second PASS division. And while favorites won the first two splits, it was longshot Wherethegirlsare who captured the last heat.
Tony Hall had the 3-5 favorite Champagne Tonight on the lead at the opening quarter of :27.2 and the daughter of Western Terror reached the next check-in stations in :57.4 and 1:25.1. Pacing a final quarter of :28.2 she was easily able to hold off runner-up Southwind Siren and George Brennan, who had chased from the two hole throughout the contest. Sweet Lady Jane and John Campbell finished third.
Champagne Tonight is trained by Clair Umholt and owned by Umholtz Racing Stable, Ngaire Umholtz and Kennedy Sports Corp. With Thursday's win, Champagne Tonight boosted her earnings past the $200,000 mark with the winner's share of the $114,654 purse.
Handsoffmycupcake took the early lead in the seond $114,252 PASS division as the even-money favorite on the toteboard. As Daniel Dube settled in his charge on the lead, Sweet Talia and George Napolitano Jr. tucked in second, followed by the 3-2 second choice Somstreetsomwhere and driver David Miller.
Moving past the opening quarter of :27, Somstreetsomwhere got rough-gaited and went offstride in the three hole. Handsoffmycupcake moved through a :57.2 half and 1:26 three-quarters and then had enough to hold off the late rally of Sweet Talia, who had inherited the two hole when Somstreetsomwhere went on her break. Carols Desire, who was caught first-over for driver Matt Kakaley at the start but found a set when Somstreetsomwhere broke, was able to finish third.
A daughter of Christian Cullen, Handsoffmycupcake is owned by JFE Enterprises and trained by Scott DeDomenico. The win was her second in six starts, increasing her earnings to $128,710.
South Pacific was heavily favored to win the third $114,254 PASS division but after the Dave Palone-driven filly led through three quarters she faded through the field and that allowed Ron Pierce to rally Wherethegirlsare from sixth at the top of the stretch to the 1:53 victory. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was sent off at odds of 16-1 as she won for the first time in three starts. UF Dragon's Queen finished second and Donna Lee was third.
David Willmot and Clay Horner own Wherethegirlsare, who is trained by Jimmy Takter. She is out of the great pacing mare Cabrini Hanover.