Msnaughtyashill, who won her two Hoosier Park qualifiers by a combined 47 lengths, showed just how prepared for her seasonal debut she was when she drew off in a stake-fastest 1:55.3 in Monday’s (May 14) $80,000 PA Stallion Series event at The Meadows. The stake for 3-year-old filly trotters was contested over four divisions, with Mighty Macko, Explosive G and Century Empress also taking $20,000 splits.
Msnaughtyashill took on her division’s best last year in such marquee stakes as the Breeders Crown, the International Stallion Series and the Bluegrass. Was trainer Jeff Edwards looking for a softer spot to launch her sophomore campaign?
"That’s exactly it," Edwards said. "The winds were blowing so hard at Hoosier the times that I qualified her that I wasn’t really sure how ready we had her. Obviously, she’s okay. You can drive her however you want to drive her."
On Monday, Msnaughtyashill followed the first-up cover of Donato’s Jewel, who broke stride near the wire, to score by 5-3/4 lengths for Mike Wilder. Donato’s Jewel finished second but was placed back to third, with Big Sky Julietta promoted to second. Denise Dennis and Dolne Farm Services own the daughter of Muscle Hill-Msnaughtybutnice, who will be pointed to the next leg of the PA Sires Stakes or the Currier & Ives at The Meadows.
Looped from the gate, Mighty Macko powered to the point once the dust settled and recorded a convincing victory in 1:56.2 for Dave Palone, trainer Chris Oakes and owners Crawford Farms Racing and Northfork Racing Stable. Rainbowinthewest rallied for second, 2-3/4 lengths back, while First Class Act earned show.
"I wanted to let everybody find their spots," Palone said. "I thought I had the best horse. She rated well, and when I asked her coming off the last turn, she was strong and well within herself."
Explosive G won a duel for the early lead but had to dig in late for Brian Zendt to hold off the first-over Shelovesutwo by a neck in 1:56.4. Zoe Bi completed the ticket.
"She came back nice, and she’s willing to do everything we ask her to do," said Wilbur Yoder, who trains the daughter of Explosive Matter-Vacation’s Over for Richard Hess. "I think she’ll get a little better yet as the year goes on."
In the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, Classicality won for the fourth time in eight 2018 starts with a front-end victory in 1:53.4 Zendt piloted the 8-year-old Classic Photo-Penn Worthy Lane gelding, who now boasts $582,792 in career earnings, for owner/trainer Lisa Dunn.
Tony Hall collected three wins on the 13-race card. (The Meadows)