Post 10 no problem again for Ramona Hill in Miller Memorial
July 18, 2020
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Andy McCarthy motored Ramona Hill to the front from post 10 and battled all challengers for control, trotting to a 1:50.3 victory in the $253,500 Del Miller Memorial for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday at the Meadowlands.
Clearing command into the first turn, Ramona Hill led the field past a :26.3 first quarter before Love A Good Story angled off the pylons to brush for the lead. Sorella, the 2-5 favorite, then moved uncovered as Love A Good Story cleared control in the backside. However Ramona Hill, sitting in the pocket, swiftly circled in front of Sorella and Love A Good Story to retake control just beyond a :54.2 half.
Rounding the far turn, Sorella marched forward to match strides with Ramona Hill, while Hypnotic AM rode second-over cover. Past three-quarters in 1:22.2, Sorella began to hang, forcing Hypnotic AM wide and the third-over Panem even wider as Ramona Hill widened her lead. Panem rolled most quickly of any down the center of the track, cutting into Ramona Hill’s margin nearing the finish but still finishing 1 1/2 lengths behind. Hypnotic AM took third from Sorella.
“We had Pilot Discretion last year and we raced in the [Hambletonian]. And then, at the end of the year, Ramona [Hill] came on and she was just fantastic,” co-owner Robert LeBlanc said after the race. “[Alagna] brought her along slowly — she was a late foal — and we wanted to give her time. We thought we had something special, and Tony said we were going to manage her for the end of the year. And Andy just drives her fantastic ... This is pretty special; she’s a special animal.”
A Crawford Farms-bred daughter of Muscle Hill, Ramona Hill collected her seventh victory from nine starts, amassing $539,470 in earnings for owners Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, LeBlanc and In The Gym Partners. She returned $18.80 to win. (Meadowlands)