CHESTER PA – Harrah’s Philadelphia hosted its richest racing card of the year on Sunday afternoon, with $1.3M on the line in four $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships for two-year-olds, their complementary $50,000 consolations, and a $40,000 Invitational among many other overnight events.
Three track records were set or equaled, including the all-age track record of 1:47.3, and a world record was set and another tied during a spectacular program.
Below is a summary of the Championships and consolations grouped by divisions; the summary of the Invitational is at the end.
TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES
Beach Cowgirl, in her fourth lifetime start, rewrote the world record for this division on a 5/8-mile track when she won her Championship in 1:50, with Joe Bongiorno “sitting chilly” behind her.
Bongiorono left strongly from the rail with the daughter of Captaintreacherous – Stonebridge Sundae, trained by his sister Jennifer, and the rest of the field took back behind her in near-lineup fashion, wanting no early fight with the powerful filly. Beach Cowgirl was able to set fractions of :26.3, :55.1, and 1:22.4 under a hold, then sprinted home in :27.1 to knock a tick off Allstar Rating’s world record, set at Pocono in 2013; also falling were the track (1:50.3, Economy Terror, 2011) and stake record (1:51, Blue Diamond Eyes, Pocono, 2020). Top prelim pointwinner My Little Captain was 6¾ lengths back in second, just ahead of first-over Proud Mary.
Beach Cowgirl won her debut at The Meadows in 1:51, then paced in 1:50.2 at Pocono in her second start. A 49-day layoff due to sickness came next, but the super filly bounced back with a measured 1:51.4 win here last week, which set her up for her amazing record mile on Sunday for owners Joseph Di Scala Jr., Zippett Racing Stable, Scarlett Stables LLC, and JAF Racing LLC while putting her earnings above $208,000 in just the quartet of trips behind the gate.
In the consolation, the Stay Hungry – Zellweger Bluechip filly Ginger Tree Coco overcame the difficult tuck-then-first-over journey, hitting a swifter gear on the turn and then drawing off by 1¼ lengths over Beltara while taking a new mark of 1:52.4. David Miller handled the Steve Cook trainee for Sam Beegle, Ginger Tree Ventures LLC, Knollview Stable, and Bob Reber Jr.
TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES
The name is Bond – and she confirmed herself as a major trotting talent by coming home in :55.4 - :27.3 to take her Championship event in 1:54.3, and going easily.
Trainer/driver Åke Svanstedt headed right to the lead with the daughter of Southwind Frank – Boccone Dolce from post two, forcing tucks in the :28.1 first quarter. Like Beach Cowgirl a race after her, Bond had inspired such respect in recent weeks that no one bothered her on the lead, allowing Svanstedt to loaf to the half in :58.4. Second choice Fashion Annie, one of the early tuckers, came uncovered and pressed the leader through a three-quarters in 1:27 and around the turn.
Nearing headstretch Svanstedt asked his filly to shift into a higher gear, and what was an exciting contest turned into a runaway, with the high velocity last quarter leaving Fashion Annie (who has a mark of 1:53.4) four lengths behind. Now with four wins and two seconds in six starts, Bond is the type of filly who looks destined for better things, and soon, having already won over $218,000 for Åke Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, and L Berg Inc.
In the consolation, the International Moni – Seaside filly Tipsy Moni advanced uncovered down the backstretch, took the lead early in the stretch, then withstood a late charge by favored Brunella by 1¾ lengths while taking a new mark of 1:56.4. Jim Marohn Jr. made a rare Philly appearance and drove the winner for trainer/owner D.R. Ackerman.
TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS
The Father Patrick – Sherrys Lady colt Once In A Lifetime set a track record of 1:54.2 in winning his Championship, knocking two-fifths off the old mark set by Coach K Hanover last year, and giving driver Tim Tetrick his fourth Sire Stakes Championship of the weekend. The win raised his career total to eighteen, tying him with Yannick Gingras behind Dave Palone’s 39 PaSS Championship wins.
Once In A Lifetime, the favorite, tucked fourth in the :27.3 opening quarter, after which second choice Crantini moved to command and got a speed reduction to :57.2. The pace picked up after Once In A Lifetime moved uncovered to challenge, and the three-quarters was hit in 1:25.2 with the two crowd favorites fighting it out. The chalk proved gritty in the lane to outduel his foe by a half length while taking a new mark for trainer Jim Campbell and Sad Frog Farms, who must be much happier after their colt topped $226,000 in earnings with many of the big-money races still to come.
In this division’s consolation, favored Carter Michael Deo got away behind Inter Mischief, and thus avoided all kinds of mishap that happened early among their foes. The chalk, a son of International Moni – Brigham Dream was moved to the lead before the three-eighths by David Miller and maintained his advantage to the wire , winning by 2¾ lengths over Inter Mischief while taking a new mark of 1:56 for trainer Ron Burke and Thestable Cartermichaeldeo.
TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS
The only “upset” in the four Sire Stakes Championships came when the Heston Blue Chip – Bettor Be Steamin colt Fulton powered to the lead in front of the stands and, at 2-1, went on to defeat favored Annapolis Hanover in 1:51.3.
Lousain Bolt had the speed of his “namesake” to reach the lead by the :26.2 quarter, but after that marker came moves from Bugaboo Lou, Fulton, and Annapolis Hanover in that order, with the first two successful in making the top before the :54.1 half but Annapolis Hanover not and left out to dry. Dexter Dunn kept Fulton rolling down the back under pressure from the chalk, hitting the three quarters in 1:21.4 and then drawing clear from mid-far turn. It was a mad scramble for second, with Annapolis Hanover, who looked like he’d be lucky to get a check late on the final bend, coming back with rare gameness to be next, though four lengths back.
Fulton, now a four-time winner with over $232,000 on his card, is trained by Linda Toscano for Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC.
In the consolation, Lyons Stealth was the favorite after winning three Stallion Series divisions (and an Arden Downs division) but chose to come to Philly for the PaSS consolation. He set the pace, but second choice Captain Mikey, after sitting in the two-hole behind him, pulled out with three-sixteenths to go and went on to victory by 1¼ lengths while equaling his mark of 1:53.4; longshot Can’t Sway Me also got by the pacesetter late. Captain Mikey is a Captaintreacherous – Lorrie Please gelding driven by Dexter Dunn for trainer Jake Huff and owners Our Three Sons Stables LLC and Rosalie Huff.
#SENDITIN INVITATIONAL PACE
Maybe not “upstaging” the impressive two-year-olds, but certainly worthy of extended notice, was Allywag Hanover’s 1:47.3 equaling of Wiggle It Jiggleit’s all-age Philly track record and the equaling of the 1:47.3 world record for older pacing geldings, notched by Bigtown Hero in 2014.
Continuing a big day for sire Captaintreacherous, Allywag Hanover, handled by Tim Tetrick, left strongly from the rail, and going to the first turn it appeared that a post lineup might be coming. However, Ruthless Hanover, in rein to Daniel Dube, literally grabbed onto the bit and zoomed up to challenge, with the pair reaching the quarter in an astounding :25 -- no official fractions records are kept, but that’s likely to be close to the fastest ever on a three-turn oval, as were midsplits of :51.4 and 1:19.1! Allywag and Tetrick were waiting in the two-hole, and come the lane the pair took off under little urging, reaching the wire in the historic 1:47.3, 4¼ lengths to the good of the game Ruthless Hanover.
After two seconds to Bulldog Hanover sandwiched around a third behind Jimmy Freight to start his five-year-old campaign, Allywag Hanover has now won four in a row for trainer Brett Pelling and the Allywag Stable. While Bulldog Hanover has looked like a horse for the ages for months, the 2021 Older Pacer of the Year, now with $1,334,780 earned lifetime, may be ready to reenter the company of the very fastest pacers very soon.