PASS, Stallion Series highlight Harrah's card
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Two-year-old trotting fillies were out in forceWednesdayafternoon (July 18) at Harrah’s Philadelphia as the track hosted second-round action in both the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (five divisions) and Pennsylvania Stallion Series (six divisions).
Sonnet Grace now has three stakes wins in as many career starts, including two Sire Stakes triumphs (the only filly to accomplish that feat), after rallying in the passing lane for a 1:57.2 victory.The daughter of Muscle Massive– I Believe, sporting a granddam who is none other than precocious champion CR Kay Suzie, was content to ride in the pocket behind Magical Beliefs, then outtrotted her home in :28.4, with breeder/owner/trainer/driver Rod Allen barely having to ask his filly for more down the lane.In her previous start, Sonnet Grace had also shown a fine late burst to win in 1:56.2 over a sloppy The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono course, still as fast a mile for any trotter on a five-eighth mile track.
The Explosive Matter–Fast Lane K filly Rush Lane began her career with three straight seconds, including a nose loss to Sonnet Hill in that 1:56.2 mile, but she changed her luck Wednesday and got home first while equaling that 1:56.2 season’s record.Rush Lane made two early rushes to the lead for driver Yannick Gingras and retained control after the second one, holding off the uncovered bid of favored Personal Paradise by 1-3/4 lengths while stepping home in :58 for trainer Richard Gillock and owner/breeder Robert Key.
Corey Callahan was patient early with the Muscle Hill– UF Tady’s Donato filly Scirocco Donnahill, keeping her behind the cover of favored Fate Smiled, and when that one moved to the lead off the first bend, Callahan went up with his filly, grabbed the racetrack at the three-eighths, and maintained her advantage on her main rival to the wire in1:57.The John Butenschoen trainee, second in a Pa. All-Stars race in her only other purse event, won by a length for Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr.
Antonia was away slowly and had trouble throughout, but the Donato Hanover – Tactical Caviar miss ate up real estate through the stretch after being tipped wide by David Miller and reached the wire a half-length ahead of favored pacesetter Darla P while stopping the clock in1:57, a new mark.She had made a break in her only other purse start yet rallied for fourth, but Wednesday she put it all together for trainer Nifty Norman and owners Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC and the Pinske Stables.
After sweeping four Pa. All-Stars sections for the division’s pacing counterparts the night before at Pocono, trainer Ron Burke’s brigade took a Sire Stakes prize here Wednesday as the Donato Hanover– Susi’s Image distaff Hanovers Best set all the pace for Gingras, then held off favorite Ma Was Right by the slightest of margins while stopping the timer i1:57.
The winner, who made a break in her only other purse start, showed she’ll prove tough when behaving for Burke and owner William Fisher.
In Stallion Series action, the Explosive Matter– Nan’s Conway miss Navarone Hanover overcame the outside post and a tuck-then-grind journey for Tim Tetrick, gunning down pacesetter Lindy Missunshine by three-quarters of a length late while taking in 1:58.The Bob Baggitt Jr.-trained filly, owned by Christine Baggitt, is now undefeated after two purse starts.
The Muscle Massive– Ts Fast Forward filly Fast Reaction is now two-for-two in the Stallion Series after edging Southwind Percy by a neck in1:58, lowering her mark.
Trainer/driver Rick Beinhauer, also breeder and owner with Regina Beinhauer, used the rail to maximum advantage, taking a quick lead and saving enough energy to preserve the triumph.
Another daughter of Muscle Massive, Wizard Hawk (out of the mare Valley Makayla) was the only filly who could stay close to the fast but bad-mannered Run Lindy Run in the early part of their cut, and after that one put up fractions of :28 and approached a :56.4 half, she made a break and went to the infield.This change in fortune left Wizard Hawk with a huge lead, which she maintained to the finish for a 1:58.4 maiden victory.Charlie Norris completed a rare trainer/driver Pick-3 (following the respective victories of Rod Allen and Rick Beinhauer in preceding races). The freshman is owned by Carrie Norris, LJB Racing LLC and Scott Mceneny.
Driver Victor Kirby and the Explosive Matter– Warrawee Lassie filly Wildfire Seelster took their Stallion series cut in a maiden mark of 2:00.1.Wildfire Seelster was fourth early, then third as the leader broke at the half, then second as the pocketsitter broke into the backstretch, and Kirby steadily advanced the filly, taking the inside path home to a 3-1/4 length victory over Chanel De Vie.Owner/trainer Austin Brubacker’s filly had not been worse than fourth in three purse starts, but she made her breakthrough Wednesday by staying calm and steady.
Trainer Burke also captured a Stallion Series divisionwith the Muscle Hill– Say What filly Southwind Storm, making her two-for-two in the competition.Matt Kakaley and his Burke-trained filly had control of the race early and were never threatened, stopping the timer in2:00, which equaled the mark she took in her other Stallion Series win. She’s owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Lawrence Karr, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
The Possess The Will – Raising Rachel filly Fashion Rachel won the last race of the card, a Stallion Series event, in1:58, holding off the potential pocket rocket and favorite Explosive Mel by a length. David Miller handled the winner for trainer Jim Campbell and owner/breeder Fashion Farms LLC.
To summarize: Gingras drove two Sire Stakes winners, while driver David Miller and trainer Ron Burke had a victory in both classes … All the Stallion Series winners were favorites except the last one, who paid $6.60, while the only favorite that won in the Sire Stakes was Sonnet Grace, although no winner returned higher than $7.80 … And Sonnet Grace was the only one of the 11 stakes-winning fillies not to take a new mark.