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Photo Charm smiles in Meadows series win

June 30, 2010

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Used three times in the race, Photo Charm showed heart and speed in taking the fastest division of an $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake Tuesday at The Meadows.
The event for 3-year-old filly trotters was conducted over four divisions, with Perfect Photo, Pearly Princess and Flawless Lindy capturing the other splits.
Dave Palone sent Photo Charm toward the front, where she briefly settled in the pocket behind Andovermetreasure, then asked her for more speed to overtake the leader past the quarter. When Spectacular Bay launched a powerful uncovered bid to grab the point down the backside, Palone had to ask Photo Charm once more in the stretch. She prevailed in 1:57.2, 3 lengths better than Spectacular Bay, with Liz a rallying third.
“It’s nice when you can use them just like that, any way you want,” Palone said. “That’s what makes her so easy to drive. You can start and stop her on a dime. She would have done it any way she had to do it.”
Trond Smedshammer trains Photo Charm, a daughter of SJ’s Photo-Dream Cabernet, for Brittany Farms.
When Perfect Photo fell behind Agenda Tom Ridge by 7-1/2 lengths at the half, even her driver, Eric Ledford, thought he might be racing for a minor award.
“I never thought I’d catch that horse on the front,” Ledford said. “I never dreamed I would. But she has a lot of heart, and she never quit. Her connections told me that she wouldn’t get tired, that she would be there at the end of the mile.”
Perfect Photo’s sustained bid carried her to victory — her third straight since adding hopples — in 1:58, 3/4 lengths better than Agenda Tom Ridge. Skerry finished third. Julie Miller trains Perfect Photo, a daughter of SJ’s Photo-Sapphire Sue, for David Prushnok, John Prushnok and William Gregg.
Pearly Princess also scored from well off the trot, using an uncovered backside brush to take the lead. Winning driver Tony Hall said the daughter of SJ’s Caviar-Rosemont Princess seems to prefer to move without cover.
"She gets really hot,” Hall said. “I almost think first over is better for her. When she follows a horse, she gets really rammy. I would say that’s the best she’s been for me. She was strong.”
Pearly Princess triumphed by 2-1/2 lengths for trainer Joe Offutt and owner Christian Stoltzfus. Cantab Lady earned place money, with Whisk Hanover third.
In a wild, white-knuckle finish to the $25,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap, six of the seven pacers in the field finished within a neck of each other. The camera caught Best of Ball, who made up 5-1/2 lengths over the back half, a nose better than Personal Ad, with An Original third. Time for the mile was 1:52.2.
Ledford drove the 4-year-old daughter of Presidential Ball-Ms Mulan for trainer Jim Dailey and Down The Lane Stables. Best of Ball has won 17 of 23 lifetime starts.
Palone drove five winners and Hall three on the 15-race card. (The Meadows)
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