Trailing previously unbeaten Sonnet Grace by a length turning for home, Antonia found another gear and upset the 2-5 favorite in Tuesday’s $185,836 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows.
The event for freshman filly trotters, known as the Delmonica Hanover, was contested over four divisions, with Ma Was Right, Magical Beliefs and Nomo Volo taking the other splits. It was a big day for David Miller, who won three PASS divisions and finished second in the fourth, beaten by Nomo Volo.
Sonnet Grace captured the first four starts of her career, and the granddaughter of Hall of Famer CR Kay Suzie appeared well on the way to number five. But the determined Antonia gobbled up ground and finally prevailed at the wire by a head in a career-best 1:56.4. Sky Is Mine was a ground-saving third.
"I wasn’t sure we would get by," Miller said. "My filly was running in and lost a little ground in the last turn. You have to be careful with her at the start, but she usually gets home pretty good. She held the gate real good today, and she put her head in front late. Got to give her credit for that."
Nifty Norman conditions the daughter of Donato Hanover-Tactical Caviar for Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC and Pinske Stables.
Ma Was Right followed cover beautifully before roaring through the stretch and scoring in a stakes-fastest 1:56.3, downing the first-over Matter Of Fact by a length. Early leader Personal Paradise completed the ticket.
"That’s the third time I’ve raced her, and her trips have been pretty much the same," Miller said. "She’s usually trotting pretty good at the wire. She didn’t get away well from the rail today, but she’s pretty strong on the end of it."
Noel Daley conditions the daughter of Muscle Hill-It’s Alright Ma, who has finished first or second in all five career starts, for All Laid Out Stable.
Magical Beliefs and Miller were stalking Ladylilli when they pulled the pocket before the three-quarters and rolled to a comfortable two length victory in 1:57.1 for trainer Linda Toscano and owners Highland Green Farms, South Mountain Stables and R-And-I Farms. Windy Corner was third-placed-second and Lady Builder fourth-placed-third while Ladylilli, who finished second, was disqualified and placed last for leaving the course.
"With that half in :57.3, I didn’t know how far that horse in front of me would take me," Miller said. "So I thought I would take a shot rather than sit in and get shuffled. She was tired at the end, but she held up."
Tuesday’s card also featured a pair of Preferred Handicap races. In the $20,000 event for filly and mare pacers, the pocket-sitting Medusa kicked by Lakeisha Hall late and triumphed in 1:51.3 for Tony Hall and trainer Randy Bendis, who owns the 7-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical with Tom Pollack. Medusa now boasts $773,553 in career earnings.
Call For Justice and Dave Palone took the $18,000 trot by slipping past Wind Of The North in the Lightning Lane, snapping that rival’s three-race winning streak. The 6-year-old son of Justice Hall-Mika’s Mazurka, who prevailed in 1:53.4, extended his lifetime bankroll to $516,067 for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. (The Meadows)