Favored pacing fillies upset in stakes
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The two divisions for the $239,000 Arlene Siegel Memorial International Stallion Stake for two-year-old pacing fillies—sponsored by Jules Siegel and Fashion Farms—saw the heavy favorites get beat.
Making her fourth start, 10-1 shot New Year hit the Grand Circuit winner’s circle with a first-over grind to take the opening division of the Arlene Siegel Memorial.
The Bethinator shot for the front moving to the first turn with 6-5 favorite Reflect With Me floating into the pocket before circling to the top past a :28.4 first quarter. New Year, sitting fourth, tipped first over as the field sped to a :56.2 half and ranged towards the pacesetter to then match strides with Reflect With Me passing three-quarters in 1:24.1. The Somebeachsomewhere filly dug into Reflect With Me entering the stretch and lunged past to lead approaching the finish. Jk First Lady, swooping from third over, rallied widest on the track to finish second while Reflect With Me held third.
“The owners are very patient and they agree that the less you do at two, the more you get at three and I’m at the same mindset,” trainer Ross Croghan said after the race on bringing New Year to the races so late in the season. “This filly was very heavy as an early two-year-old; she carried a massive amount of weight. A nice, hot summer helped us slowly peel that off into racing condition. She’s always shown a little bit of grit."
Out of the world-champion mare Drop The Ball, New Year collected her third victory while earning $83,680 for owners Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Mr Dana Parham, who also bred the $22.80 winner. Corey Callahan sat in the bike behind the possible Breeders Crown starter.
“I’ll talk to the owners—[the Breeders Crown’s] all she has left,” Croghan said. “If they want to go, and she comes out of this race good, she’ll go.”
Nancy Johansson trainee Peaky Sneaky surged first over around the final turn and edged to a 1:50.3 victory in the second division of the Arlene Siegel Memorial.
Rocknificent, sent the 6-5 favorite, led the field past a :26.4 first quarter with Hidden Cove sitting in the pocket and 8-5 second choice Gai Waterhouse racing third. Gai Waterhouse then angled from third and brushed to the front passing a :55.3 half but soon yielded command to Lady Lou—carrying Peaky Sneaky on cover—entering the final turn.
Peaky Sneaky continued to advance when uncovered approaching three-quarters in 1:23.1. The Bettor’s Delight filly drew alongside Lady Lou entering the stretch and dug into the late leader before slipping by late in the stretch to win. Lady Lou held second from Rocknificent, who rallied wide for third.
“We started off kind of slow [in Ontario] and then we moved her into the Ontario Sires Stakes and the Champlain and she kept surprising me,” Johansson said after the race. “So I let her go in the She’s A Great Lady. [It was] a far way for a two-year-old filly to go, especially when she had been racing four weeks in a row—which I really don’t ever do. But she was racing well and is kind of easy on herself between the races, so we gave her the shot. She definitely needed that week off after the She’s A Great Lady.
“She’s been racing really good and getting some tough trips, but she’s very honest,” Johansson also said. “I told Dexter [Dunn] before she went onto the track [that] she’s going to give you all she has; she always does.”
Bred by White Birch Farm and owned by Howard Taylor, Judith Taylor and Order By Stable, Peaky Sneaky won her second race from eight starts, earning $100,377. Dexter Dunn drove the $14.60 winner.
Grand Circuit action resumes at The Red Mile Saturday, Oct. 5 with four divisions of the $275,000 Betting Line International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts (sponsored by the Betting Line Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms), the $216,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial (sponsored by the Sweet Lou Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farms) for sophomore pacing fillies, the $186,000 Mister Big Allerage Farms Open Pace (sponsored by Muscara Standardbreds) and the $145,000 Cantab Hall Allerage Farms Trot (sponsored by Jeff & Paula Gural). Racing gets underway with first-race post at 1:00 p.m. (EDT).--By Ray Cotolo/Red Mile