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Icommandmyspirit sets 1:52 Stallion Series mark

June 03, 2013
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Icommandmyspirit quarter-poled to the front and overpowered the field from there, rolling to victory in a stake-record 1:52 in Monday's $60,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event at The Meadows. The stake for 3-year-old filly pacers was contested over three divisions, with Aquamarine Hanover and Antigua Hanover also taking $20,000 splits.
 
Icommandmyspirit captured a May 15 stallion series event on the engine, but Eric Ledford was content to get away third before moving the daughter of Dragon Again-Artists Flower.
 
"She's a very, very talented filly,” Ledford said. "I wanted the front end; I didn't want to get there in 55, but that's what I had to do. I thought she laid over the field. So I figured if they were going to beat her, they would have to run her down.”
 
American Ginger rallied for second, five lengths back, with HS Open Waters third. The time obliterated the previous stake mark of 1:53.1 set last year by All Star Player. Ross Croghan trains Icommandmyspirit for Cheryl Costello.

Despite having to duel for the early lead between horses, Aquamarine Hanover stayed on top once she got there, prevailing in a career-best 1:53 for Aaron Merriman, trainer Paul Kennedy and owner Paint Creek Farms. Save My Dragon was 1-1/4 lengths back in second while My American Girl shot the Lightning Lane for show. It was one of four wins on the 15-race card for Merriman.

"She was really green last year,” Kennedy said of the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Artistic Hanover, a $12,000 yearling acquisition. "She could not figure out how to race. She was afraid of the starting car. She had lots of speed but didn't know what to do. She has all the tools, and she's finally figured it out.”

Antigua Hanover hadn't seen the lead at any point in her last six races, but Dave Palone didn't hesitate to push her to the top from post 7. Although it appeared she would be engulfed in the stretch, she held on for a 3/4-length victory over Prima Dragon in 1:54.4. Shy Dragon K completed the ticket.

"I wanted to be aggressive and keep her out of trouble,” Palone said. "I won with her last year, so I know she's a little lazy. I didn't think she was all done when they got to her head.”

Mark Harder trains the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Appleonia and owns with Rick Phillips, Deena Frost and Chris Alexander.

Tuesday's program at The Meadows features the $235,072 Adios Betty, a PA Sires Stake for sophomore pacing fillies headlined by 2012 divisional champion Somwherovrarainbow, who leaves from the rail in the third division, Race 8. First post is 12:55 pm. (The Meadows)

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