CHESTER PA – The cream of the Pennsylvania-sired two-year-olds took center stage at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon, contesting four $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships, along with attendant $50,000 consolations.
The Championships were formful, with all four favorites winning, and three Philly track records were set, including one in a consolation, along with a world record and two stakes records.
Here is a summary of the main events, in the order they occurred, with a paragraph on the division’s consolation at the end.
Real Cool Sam sat coolly off a red-hot pace set by Amigo Volo, then powered home in the last quarter to win his Championship in 1:53.4, which took a full second off the divisional world record for geldings, which Real Cool Sam and Amigo Volo shared, and also lowered the stake record of 1:54.2 set by Stormin Normand in 2011.
George Napolitano Jr. left swiftly with Amigo Volo, but needed virtually all of a :26.4 opening quarter to clear EL Ideal for the lead. The field got to the half in :56, with Big Oil coming first-over at that point and Real Cool Sam following that one’s cover.
Normally second-over is a good spot to be, but when Big Oil couldn’t continue progress nearing the 1:24 three-quarters and Amigo Volo opened daylight, it looked like an upset might be in the cards. But David Miller tipped the baby three-deep on the far turn, and Real Cool Sam ate up the ground through the lane to remain undefeated after eight starts with a two length victory.
The altered son of Muscle Hill – Cooler Schooner (his dam holds the Philly track record for baby fillies) ran his earnings to $420,038, with a rich part of the season still upcoming. Trainer Jim Campbell and owners Fashion Farms LLC, who won a Championship with sophomore trotting filly Millies Possesion yesterday at The Meadows, have a superstar in the budding with this powerful freshman.
The Muscle Hill – Order By Hill colt Rome Pays Off set a divisional track record of 1:55 in the consolation despite the tough tuck-then-first-over trip. Despite the arduous journey, Rome Pays Off won handily for driver Mattias Melander, trainer Marcus Melander, and the S R F Stable while tying his lifetime quickest mile first achieved at The Meadows in a Sire Stakes win.
The Captaintreacherous – Tulu Hanover filly Lyons Sentinel had three wins and a second (by a neck) in her Sire Stakes prelims to be her division’s leading pointwinner, and she continued her dominating form with a 1:52 victory in her Championship event.
JK First Lady and Baby Your the Best argued most of the 27.3 quarter, with the latter getting the top just past that point and Tim Tetrick already on the move with Lyons Sentinel. The winner of $274,830 brushed to the lead in front of the stands, then reached the middle fractions in :55.4 and 1:24, with the outer tiers clogging and the pocket horse not quite keeping up.
This left Lyons Sentinel with a clear path to the wire, and Lyons Sentinel proved equal to the challenge, holding off a resurgent Baby Your the Best, who photoed out JK First Lady for second, by a half length. Jim King Jr., who has the senior mare ranks covered with Shartin N, has a nice one in the baby division as well for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound.
In the consolation, the Captaintreacherous – Mesmerize Blue Chip miss Marloe Hanover broke her maiden in fine style, moving to the lead in front of the stands and then throwing twin 27.2 quarters coming home to defeat favored Annabelle Hanover in 1:52, lowering her qualifying mark by seven seconds. David Miller guided the developing youngster for trainer Nifty Norman and owners Pinske Stables, David Hoese, and Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky.
Sister Sledge joined her colt counterpart Real Cool Sam in remaining undefeated while winning her Sire Stakes Championship, while also matching her sophomore colleague Millies Possesion in winning all four prelims and her Championship after the 1:55.1 victory.
The respect that the daughter of Father Patrick – Behindclosedoors has earned was shown early when only polesitting Sherry Lyns Lady left hard while just inside her, with Sister Sledge making the lead in :28 and then getting a soft half in :57.3. The pace picked up to a 1:25.4 three-quarters clocking as Sorella came up first-over, and through the stretch Sister Sledge saw her lead shrink as Sorella kept coming and Shishito trotted powerfully from a wide lane, but the “Sister” ran her record to 7-for-7 by a margin of half length (the first time she’s won by less than a length); Shishito was another neck back in third.
Trainer Ron Burke, who had two Meadows Sire Stakes winners Saturday, and driver Yannick Gingras, who won with the Burke-trained Warrawee Ubeaut the day before, are the braintrust behind the winner of $264,562, who is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Jason Melillo, J&T Silva – Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
The Muscle Hill – Emmylou Who filly Solsbury Hill got things relatively easy on the front end for driver Scott Zeron in the consolation and still had an open lead almost to midstretch, but the Donato Hanover – Madam Hooch miss Ginger Tree Bren came flying four-deep off the far turn for driver David Miller and closed to dead-heat the pacesetter in 1:57. Steve Cook trains Ginger Tree Bren, who broke her maiden, for the ownership of Sam Beegle, Ginger Tree Ventures LLC, Henlopen Stable, and Neil Chesen; Rick Zeron conditions Solsbury Hill for Howard Taylor, Rojan Stables, and W J Donovan.
David Miller ended his 2YO Sire Stakes Championship Day with two consolation wins and two Championship winners, guiding the Somebeachsomewhere – Panera Hanover colt Papi Rob Hanover to a track record-setting and stakes-equaling mark of 1:50.2.
There were a host of outside leavers, with “Papi Rob” and Miller getting away fifth, but after a :26.3 quarter Miller asked his colt for a big brush, and the answer was “Yes” as the winner cleared at the :55.1 half. Adriano Hanover came first-over to the 1:22.2 three-quarters but couldn’t sustain, and it was Manticore, the horse whom Papi Rob Hanover had passed at the half, who was closest at the wire, 3½ lengths back. (Ironically, the 1-2 Championship finishers were tied for seventh in the pointstandings and just did get into their finale.)
Papi Rob Hanover had broken his maiden with a 1:50.4 win in his last PaSS prelim, and his clocking today knocked a tick off the ten-year-old track record of Rock N Roll Heaven while tying the ten-year-old stakes record first set by One More Laugh. Brett Pelling trains the winner of $176,295, developing at an accelerated rate right now, for owner David McDuffie.
Matt Kakaley hustled the Somebeachsomewhere – Michelle’s Jackpot colt Mac’s Big Boy from fourth at the quarter to the lead just past the 3/8, then went on to a 1:52.1 win in his consolation, missing his mark by just a fifth. Ron Burke conditions the Sire Stakes and All-Stars winner for Burke Racing Stable LLC, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and the Wingfield Five LLC.