Brazuca sets 1:51.3 PA stakes mark at Meadows
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Looking for a sharp prep before tackling the best in her division, Brazuca found the right spot in Monday’s Pennsylvania Stallion Series at The Meadows, where she rolled to victory in a stake-record 1:51.3.
The $80,000 event for 3-year-old filly pacers was contested over four divisions, with Beach Club, Sweetest Emotion and Puff Magic Dragon taking the other splits. Tony Hall enjoyed a stake double behind Sweetest Emotion and Puff Magic Dragon.
Brazuca earned just less than $90,000 at 2 and was beaten only 6-1/4 lengths in the Breeders Crown final. But Tom Cancelliere, who trains the daughter of Bettor’s Delight-Knock Three Times for John Cancelliere, said he wanted to ease her back into a demanding schedule, which continues with the June 24 James Lynch Memorial eliminations at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
"We wanted to start her out in a spot where she would be good and work her way up," he said. "She came back super this year, no problems at all. But it’s such a long year. We’ll be racing them all the way to November."
On Monday, Brazuca had little trouble handling post 7, as she zipped to the lead for Corey Callahan and downed Traceuse Hanover by 3 lengths, with Stairwaytothestars third. The time erased the 1:52 mark jointly held by Icommandmyspirit and Keystone Riptide.
Beach Club opened a 6-length lead at the top of the stretch but nearly lost it all to the late charge of Tori Hanover, who fell a head short. Bridge To Tomorrow finished third in the 1:53.2 mile.
"I think she just waits a little bit on the point," said winning driver Dave Palone. "I would have preferred to follow, but when you’re the favorite like that and you’ve got a chance to control the numbers, you take it. I really wasn’t worried. I thought she was a winner at the sixteenth pole, I thought she was a winner at the wire. She’s a big, lanky filly who shut down a little bit."
Ron Burke conditions Beach Club, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Sand Speed, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jason Melillo and Larry Karr.
Sitting in the pocket with Sweetest Emotion, Tony Hall was pondering whether to angle outside or dive into the Lightning Lane when the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Sweet Paprika made the decision for him.
"She got a little rammy in the middle of the last turn," Hall said, "so as long as I had the option, I figured I’d go outside. She dug all the way through the wire."
Sweetest Emotion defeated the rallying Queen To Me by 3/4 lengths while early leader Freakonomics completed the ticket. Nifty Norman trains the winner for Pinske Stables, Enzed Racing Stable and Carter Pinske.
In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, Shesasmokinlady shot the Lightning Lane to triumph in 1:52.1 for trainer/driver Ray Paver and owner/breeder Iris Horowitz. The 4-year-old daughter of McArdle-Smokin Pistol extended her career bankroll to $199,765. (The Meadows)