CHESTER PA – While heavy favorites won in two of the three divisions of the second preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies Thursday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia, the fastest winner upset the favorite – and she came to the race not only from the Stallion Series, but from a second in the second-tier series.
The Always B Miki – Gallie Beach filly Hit Me Up was developed by noted Midwestern Brian Brown, and it was for his barn that she was second, beaten only a neck, by Lyons Serenity, in a first round Stallion Series contest. In sending her east to race for trainer Jennifer Bongiorno, her connections, including owner Joshua Graber, decided to try her against Sire Stakes competition.
The other two Sires winners were both successful in the first state-sired leg, and both were daughters of Captaintreacherous. Captain Cowgirl (dam: Rideintothesunset) went faster (1:52.2) in round one than both Sire Stakes winners in taking a Stallion Series division, and like Hit Me Up she made the class jump successfully, missing her previous win clocking by a tick with a 1:52.3 tally. Captain Cowgirl was moved by driver Tim Tetrick past a :27.3 quarter to the lead before the :56.4 half, then went to the three-quarters in 1:24.2 and paced home strongly for her second straight stakes win for trainer Jim King Jr. and owners Jo Ann Looney-King and Kenneth Frieder.
Lake Dora (dam: Bodacious Hanover) is the only baby filly with a pair of Sire Stakes wins in this group as she dropped two-fifths from her mark to 1:52.3. Quarter-moving after the :27.3 first split, Yannick Gingras got a rest with his filly to a :56.4, then tacked on successive quarters of :28 and :27.4 to win comfortably for trainer Nancy Takter and Rojan Stables, Caviart Farms and R A W Equine Stables Inc.
Stallion Sweet Lou and driver Dexter Dunn each accounted for three of the four Stallion Series divisions, with one of the two on which they combined the co-fastest: a 1:53.1 lifetime mark for Ainthesamewithoutu (dam: Book Babe), who became the only double Stallion Series winner for trainer/owner Anette Lorentzon. The other Sweet Lou / Dunn “team effort” was with Showmeyoursweetside (dam: Beach Showoff), who enjoyed getting away from Sire Stakes horses and posted his first victory in 1:55 for trainer Chris Ryder, also co-owner with Henderson Farms, Robert Mondillo, and Barry Spak.
Sweet Lou came closer to a “sweep” than Dunn did: “Lou”’s Lyons Serenity was caught to the inside late, beaten three-quarters of a length by Dunn and the Betting Line – JK Fine Art miss JK I Feel Fine, the other StS 1:53.1 winner, taking a new mark for trainer Nancy Takter and 3 Brothers Stable. Dunn’s drive in the other Stallion cut, Hood Party, was 2¼ lengths behind in third in the wake of Onecrookedleg (dam: Rock My Girl), who established a record of 1:54.2 for driver Andrew McCarthy and owner/trainer Brett Bittle.
Racing resumes on Friday at 12:25. The Sire Stakes program is quickly back in gear for two-year-old colts during the two cards after Friday: pacers highlight the Sunday action starting at 12:40, while trotters feature Wednesday at 12:25. Program pages for all these cards will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.