Some of the best 3-year-old pacers and trotters on the globe competed in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Finals on Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, each going for a purse of $252,000.
In the male trotting final, John Butenschoen trainee Dover Dan (Tim Tetrick) erupted off cover in the final eighth of a mile to win under a confident Tim Tetrick handling in 1:53.3. The son of Andover Hall sat patiently as stable mate Giveitgasandgo (Corey Callahan) and Muscles Jared (Chris Lems) exchanged leads. Wagering favorite Sortie (Dave Miller) was put into play past the half, and pressed the leader beyond three-quarters before breaking in the stretch. After fractions of :27.2, :56, and 1:24.2, Winner Dover Dan reeled in the speed to go on to a decisive three-length win.
"I had never driven him before, but I’ve raced a lot against him and followed him," said Tetrick. "We got him in good position and he was rolling on the far turn – I don’t think it mattered much when the last horse (Sortie, the last of three breakers which included the two favorites) broke. He was trotting good and strong, and the time (1:53.3) is a good one.
"We repeated (having won the 2-year-old colt trot last year with Giveitgasandgo), but you can’t say this wasn’t the right one or that it was an upset,"said trainer John Butenschoen.
Butenschoen explained. "This colt had had a lot of bad luck, with post positions and trips and the like; it went his way today."
Dover Dan is owned by Bill Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, and Eugene Schick.
The female trotting division was also won by Tetrick, this time behind Jimmy Takter trainee That's All Moni. The daughter of Cantab Hall-Mom's Millionaire worked out a perfect second-over trip behind race favorite Fine Tuned Lady (Corey Callahan) to score in 1:53.3. This was just one-fifth of a second off the track record. Cool Cates finished second, while Fine Tuned Lady was third.
"She was good early, then she was sick and had a sub-par race", Trainer Jimmy Takter explained. "On Hambletonian Oaks elimination week, she had a temperature of 104 (she was scratched), and it took almost a week to get her back to normal. After the sickness, she needed the race last time, and today she showed that she was a good filly."
That's All Moni is owned by Brittany Farms,Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld.
It was upset time in the female pacing finals, as Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy) was unrelenting on the front end en-route to a three-length victory in 1:50.2, which was just one-fifth of a second off of a track record. The big favorite Agent Q (Dave Miller) settled into a hole early, but came up empty as she edged to the outside with five-eighths to go.
"She’s been good for the last few months now," said McCarthy. "She’s been a little bit under the radar. But she was very strong today. It was first-time Lasix for her, as well. The challengers came, but she still stayed strong."
It was McCarthy's first PASS win.
Another upset ensued in the male pacing finals as Boogie Shuffle (Scott Zeron) used the pocket-trip to win in a track record (for 3-year-old geldings) 1:48.2 performance. The time also equaled the fastest mile ever in PASS competition set by Wakizashi Hanover in 2015. The gelded son of Well Said-Ciela Hanover drafted behind the deliberate speed of Filibuster Hanover (Matt Kakaley) before taking aim at the eighth poll, finishing a half-length better.
"He was a good 2-year-old, and he came back well early at three, but then he started to go bad miles – in the Hempt final, I was getting a good trip, and then all of a sudden he was close to the judges list (for time)", explained driver Scott Zeron. "When he had a few more races, (trainer) Mark (Harder) didn’t know what to do. He got his vet to do a deep stomach scan, and they found he had deep ulcers in his stomach. Normally with ulcers a horse is sluggish and doesn’t eat, but this horse was acting fine. He just didn’t have any lick at the end of his miles with his problem. After they treated him, he’s come back strong – and it’s a good time, with the Jug coming up."
Earlier in the day, probable favorite Fear The Dragon scratched sick, opening the door for chief rival Huntsville to take the lion's share. After tucking, Huntsville attempted to grind first-over, but labored the final quarter-mile to finish a well-beaten third.
Boogie Shuffle is owned by Fox Hollow Farms.
There were also four consolation races, each going for a purse of $50,000.
Q’s Cruise was sent away from the gate strongly, reached the lead before the :26.2 opening pole, then put up middle splits of :55.4 and 1:23.2 en route to a 1-3/4-length victory over Candell in 1:51 in the $50,000 PASS consolation for 3-year-old colt pacers. The Yankee Cruiser gelding was not quite ready for the big cats in the early sires events. A third, however, in the last sires preliminaries two weeks ago showed him to be a force to be reckoned with as he won here for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer/owner Jim King Jr.
Leet Hanover made a second move to command early in the backstretch in the $50,000 sophomore trotting fillies consolation, then held off a late cavalry charge to by a half-length in a new mark of 1:55.1. Hot Mess Hanover came from last to be second, photoing out another late charger, Crann Tara.
The victorious Cantab Hall filly now has two-thirds of her lifetime victories in her last two outings for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt, whose Ake Svanstedt Inc. is co-owner with Little E LLC and Mal&Janet Burroughs.
The Bettor’s Delight filly Bettor’s Up quarter-moved from third, then sprinted home in :55 to finish off a 1:52.1 victory in the 3-year-old pacing fillies competition, three lengths to the good of Way Bettor.
There or thereabouts in many of the Grand Circuit stakes but winless since taking the Fan Hanover final at Mohawk in mid-June, Bettor’s Up recaptured her winning ways here while raising her bankroll to $467,966 for driver Brett Miller, trainer Scott Mceneny, and owners Bradley Grant, Teresa Davidson, and Michelle Mceneny.
Shake It Off Lindy yielded to favored Two AM off the first turn and enjoyed the pocket trip behind him, then moved to the inside under driver Scott Zeron’s direction and ran down the leader in a :56.1 back half to win the sophomore colt trot consolation event in 1:54.1.
The victorious son of Crazed took a new mark with the three-quarter length victory and raised his bankroll to $151,542 for trainer Frank Antonacci and K R Breeding LLC, whose colt has now won two in a row. (Hannah's Philadelphia)