Millers, Explosive Matter dominate Stallion Series
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Marcus Miller had a second winner with a son of Explosive Matter, the gelding Larson Hanover, who now has taken both of his Stallion Series starts after nosing out his division’s other previous winner, Common Parlance, in 1:59.2 on Monday. This horse, trained and raced under lease by Clifton Green, paid only $4.60 (he still wasn’t the favorite, being 13-10 to Common Parlance’s 9-10), but in the first victory of his current three-race win skein, Marcus and Larson tilted the toteboard at $154.20 at The Downs.
The third Explosive Matter to win was the gelding Almirola Hanover, who lowered his mark by over two seconds to 1:58 under the guidance of David Miller, the fourth success for sulky-sitters with "Miller" surnames. Almirola Hanover caught pacesetter Meteoric to win by a neck and, with two wins and a second in the series, is the leading point winner after three rounds for trainer Bill Zendt, also co-owner with Gary Saul and J. Patrick Huber.
The final Stallion Series winner Monday was the Donato Hanover colt Backstage Pass, who now has two straight series successes, three wins in a row, and a 4-for-5 lifetime record after stopping the timer in 1:58.1 for driver Tony Hall, trainer Jimmie Ritter Jr., and owner Jessica Smith.
These horses will have their final Stallion Series prelim at Philly on Wednesday, August 31, and then come 100 miles back up the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike for their Championship here on Monday, Sept. 12. After three rounds, here are the unofficial point standings, with a 35-25-15-10-8-5-4-2-1 scale based on finish: 1. Almirola Hanover, 95; 2. Fashion Winner, 85; 3. DD’s Comet, 75; 4. Larson Hanover, 70; 5.-6.-7. (tie) Brown Bear, Common Parlance, and Live For Greatness, tied with 60; 8.-9.-10. (tie) Equestrianconxtion, I Am The Danger, and Invested In Lindy, tied with 50. Fourteen other horses are "on the bubble", less than 20 points behind, ensuring a competitive scramble in the City of Brotherly Love on the last day of the month to make the Championship. (Pocono/PHHA)