CHESTER PA – The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes made their 2020 debut on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia, with four $53,534 Sire Stakes for two-year-old fillies and the same class going in four $20,000 cuts of Pennsylvania Stallion Series action.
“Breed the best to the best and hope for the best” is an old racetrack adage, and it produced the fastest Sire Stakes winner, as the offspring of two Horses of the Year (Always B Miki and JK She’sagreatlady), JK Alwaysbalady, posted an easy 4½ lengths victory in an impressive 1:52.1. Yannick Gingras sent the filly to the lead, yielded to Wicked Ways to sit in the pocket behind her, then vacated that hole and powered off all alone late. The Nancy Takter-trained miss has a “ceiling unlimited” future right now for the 3 Brothers Stable.
Yannick Gingras had another Sire Stakes victory as the Captaintreacherous – Aria Hanover filly Blue Diamond Eyes headed a 1-2-3 finish for trainer Ron Burke with a 1:53.3 victory after brushing to the lead just before the half. Stablemate Continualou closed strongly to miss catching the winner by only half a length, while Ocean’s Apart, another 1½ lengths back, completed the Trifecta for the Brigade. Blue Diamond Eyes, the only favorite to win in the Sires ranks, is owned by Thomas and Scott Dillon.
Five of the six entrants in the other Sires event came to the race with a baby qualifying win already on their card – so naturally it was the “non-winner,” the Betting Line – Wild West Show distaff Let ‘Er Buck, who proved the most photogenic the first time the money was on the line, defeating Lyonssoftassilk by a neck at the end of a 1:55 mile. Mark MacDonald guided the filly, who was the only horse on the 14-race card to win a race coming off of cover, for owner/trainer Ray Schnittker.
Dexter Dunn added two Stallion Series victories to his Sire Stakes win, both with daughters of Somebeachsomewhere: first Beach Crazy (out of Crosswinds Cupcake), a 1:55.3 winner for trainer Andrew Harris and owner Steve Sexton, and then Podium Girl (whose dam is Cinamony), who was clear at the end of a 1:56.2 victory for trainer Chris Ryder and Henderson Farms.
Beach Crazy’s 1:55.3 Stallion Series win tied her for speed honors in that part of the day’s competition with the Betting Line – Beach Showoff baby Showmethetanlines, who withstood Briar by a head for trainer Brett Bittle and the Shmuel Farm. In the other StS race, the Captaintreacherous – Auniqueaquistion filly High Minded was allowed to dawdle to the half, then smoked home in :56.4 - :27.3 to complete a 1:58.2 mile for driver Scott Zeron, trainer Linda Toscano, and the partnership of the Camelot Stable Inc., Fred Wallace, The Bay’s Stable LLC, and Steve Stewart.
And if it wasn’t a stakes race at Philly on Wednesday, George Napolitano Jr. probably won it – he checked in first four times.