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Abigail Dawn finds way to winner's circle at Philly

November 11, 2020
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The Real Artist mare Abigail Dawn had to have everything go right for her in the $11,600 handicap featured pace for distaffs on a soggy Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia – and when they did, driver Dexter Dunn put the mare in position to win, and she took a close finish in 1:52.3 over a sloppy track.
 
Early on Abigail Dawn thought about leaving, but Its Mesmerise N to her right and favored Baron Remy to her left had similar ideas and faster leg movement, and she had to take back to third. Abigail Dawn gapped for much of the next half-mile, and when 18-1 shot Abuelita Hanover came up first-over, Dunn stayed to the inside.
 
Despite her odds, Abuelita Hanover made a quick move and started to go by the pacesetting chalk past the 5/8, with second-over Shezallapples A not keeping up. Dunn took this opportunity to slip outside late in the backstretch, went up to challenge the new leader on the far turn, and decisioned her by three-quarters of a length. Crazy Cute came swiftly from last for third, and Its Mesmerise N, who was shuffled when the favorite tired and came back well along the inside late, fourth, with the latter two also within a length of the winner.
 
Chris Ryder trains the oft-winning mare (12 for 32 lifetime) for Shore Things Stables LLC.
 
There were a pair of $11,200 co-features, one on each gait. On the pace, the Somebeachsomewhere sophomore filly Somewhere North raised her career record to 2-for-3 while lowering her mark to 1:55.3 for driver Dunn, trainer Nifty Norman, and the Pinske Stables. The trotters were fronted by another sophomore, the Lionhunter gelding Hunting AS, who was home first in 1:56.4 for trainer Jenny Melander and the partnership of Melander Racing Inc. and Robert Bernaski. Hunting AS was handled by David Miller, with the Hall of Famer's three successes on the day tops among the drivers.
 
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