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Up Front Ben fastest in PASS

September 04, 2007

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Three-year-old colt and gelding trotters contested three Pennsylvania Sire Stakes divisions in Labor Day action at Harrah\'s Chester, with Up Front Ben earning speed-badge honors with a 1:57 victory, while two divisions of the Pocahontas late-closing series for 2-year-old pacing fillies were contested as well.

Ed Mullinax\'s Up Front Ben ($17) turned in the fastest performance of the trotters, holding off prohibitive favorite Grant (Cat Manzi) to stop the timer in 1:57. Eric Goodell sent the son of Andover Hall right to the front, and he cut an early quarter of :29.2 before a backed-off half of :59.4. Grand Hallway (Kevin Sizer) left alertly from the outside and settled in second, maintaining the pocket trip before fading up the backstretch to a first-over Grant. Grant assumed the pocket position behind the widening leader, and followed Up Front Ben to three-quarters in 1:28.1. Manzi pulled the pocket, but came up a length short to the Noel Daley trainee.

Kevin Sizer partnered the other two Sire Stakes division winners, driving Swanderful (1:57.2) to victory for Randy Beeckman in the first division, and piloting Edgestone Hanover (1:57.2) wire to wire for Richard Norman.

Former track record holder Artexpress (Steve Smith) kicked off the afternoon with a 5 1/2-length victory in the first division of the Pocahontas Series, pacing the mile in 1:54.2. Tim Lancaster trains the daughter of Artiscape, who overtook her tiring rivals and held strong through the stretch.
Real Nasty Miss (Tony Morgan) won the second division by nearly 10, pacing the mile wire to wire in 1:54.3. The Real Artist filly led through fractions of :27.1 and :56.2, tiring out much of the field. In the far turn, she was challenged by Friendship Dance (Kevin Sizer), but an untimely break took that one out of contention, leaving the Roland Mallar-trained Real Nasty Miss with a 10-length advantage at the head of the stretch. (Harrah\'s Chester)
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