Inside look at PASS 2YO championships
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Rod Allen's Sonnet Grace looked unbeatable early in the series, winning the first two legs. Despite racing well in the next two legs, she finished second and third. Moreover, the daughter of Muscle Massive-I Believe has drawn post 9, suggesting that the door might be open.
Among those who might waltz right through is All Laid Out Stable's Ma Was Right, who is both Pennsylvania and Kentucky eligible. The daughter of Muscle Hill-It's Alright Ma enters the championship off a Kentucky Sires Stake victory, but she's not assured of a spot in the KYSS final. Trainer Noel Daley has been walking a fine line, trying to reach both championships while not over-racing the youngster.
"She's a pretty hardy filly, but we weren't quite sure how we should work it," Daley says. "We were able to skip the last leg in Pennsylvania because she had enough points for the final. We'll do the same in Kentucky. She has a first and a fourth, so we're taking a shot that she'll get in the final.
"The only thing I tell her drivers is not to put her on the front end. She's better chasing them down."
$253,000 2-Year-Old Filly Pace (Race 8)
Treacherous Reign and Warrawee Ubeaut have dominated, but Treacherous Reign appeared to gain the edge when she snapped her rival's career unbeaten streak on Aug. 18. In the championship, the daughter of Captain Treacherous-Scandalous Hanover will enjoy a decided post position advantage; she goes from post 5 (Andrew McCarthy) while Warrawee Ubeaut (Yannick Gingras), a daughter of Sweet Lou-Great Memories, must overcome post 8 for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Phil Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Says Tony Alagna, who trains Treacherous Reign for Alagna Racing, Big Als Stable, Let It Ride Stable and Dana Parham:
"The 5 hole gives you a lot of options. You can leave or take off the gate and not be too far out of it. I never tell drivers what to do. Too many things can change behind the gate. Decisions have to be split second."
Some will see this potential duel as another skirmish in the battle between Captain Treacherous and Sweet Lou, a pair of promising stallions duking it out with their first crops. Alagna says that's not his view, at least not entirely.
"Since I trained ‘Captain,' I'd like to see him do well, just like Ronnie wants Sweet Lou to do well. But the main focus is trying to win the race."
For the record, the two championship paces Saturday feature seven Sweet Lous, four Captains and five by the late Somebeachsomewhere. The other two are by A Rocknroll Dance, meaning that four stallions account for all 18 finalists. By contrast, finalists in the trotting championships represent eight stallions.
$253,000 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot (Race 9)
The Hills are alive — Prospect Hill and Demon Onthe Hill, that is. Prospect Hill (Muscle Hill-Louise Kemp, post 4, David Miller) is looking to complete a PASS sweep for Trainer Julie Miller and Stroy Inc. She's part of an entry with Klutzy. Demon Onthe Hill (Muscle Hill-Sabrina Hall, post 3, Brian Sears) would be positioned to do the same but for a nose loss in the final preliminary leg. He's conditioned by Marcus Melander for Vicky Trotting Inc.
Other contenders include White Tiger (Muscle Massive-Just Not Into You, post 8, Anthony MacDonald), who races for trainer Andrew Harris and owner Thestable White Tiger Group, and Osterc (Cantab Hall-Oh Oh Hereshecomes, post 9, Gingras), who won his last three PASS legs for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Christina Takter and Goran Falk.
This appears to be the most competitive championship.
$253,000 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace (Race 10)