CHESTER PA – Despite the fact that it was cool and rainy in the greater Philadelphia area on Friday afternoon, and that two-year-old fillies were featured in the 2020 debut of the John Simpson Sr. stakes series, form held up very well, with almost all the young misses who figured to be close either winning or in the hunt at the wire.
Hall of Fame trainer Linda Toscano won two of the three divisions of the $93,602 Razzle Hanover (all Simpson stakes are named after top horses connected with Simpson and/or Hanover) for the pacing set. In one cut, High Minded, the program choice, was let go at 7-2, and she proved her talent to her disbelievers, sitting the pocket behind favored Mackie Hanover and then rallying sharply in taking a 1:53.4 mark while 1½ lengths clear of the pacesetter. Dexter Dunn drove the victorious daughter of Captaintreacherous - Auniqueaquistion for Camelot Stable Inc., Fred Wallace, The Bay’s Stable LLC, and Steve Stewart.
The third division saw second choice Darby Hanover brushing around favored Podium Girl at the three-eighths, then withstanding that one’s late comeback bid by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.2. The daughter of Betting Line – Duenna Hanover, driven by Marcus Miller, has now won four of her last six starts for his aunt, trainer Julie Miller, and the ownership of Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Mr. Caroll Huffman.
In the first of two divisions of the $112,800 Davidia Hanover stake for trotters, Anoka Hanover was the shortest possible kind of favorite coming off of two straight Grand Circuit triumphs at Lexington, and she continued her superior form with a 9½ length route for driver Todd McCarthy in 1:55. The daughter of Donato Hanover – Aunt Mel has now earned $243,491 for trainer Noel Daley, who shares partnership in the fleet filly with L A Express Stable LLC and Caviart Farms.
The Andover Hall – Pine Yankee filly Love Muffin, favored in the mutuels by $85, used a popular tactic on the day, settling early then moving in the second quarter for driver Corey Callahan. They then held on to the advantage to the wire, although Love Muffin’s 1:57 mile put her only a nose to the good of tough pocketsitter Goo Doo Doll. The Pennsylvania Stallion Series championship winner, the filly is now 7 for 10 with $114,859 on her card for trainer Dave Wiest and her owners, “The Sunshine Boys,” Donald Wiest (Dave’s father and a celebrant of his 90thbirthday earlier this month) and Ed Kimmel, a mere stripling at age 77.
The stakes wins of Dexter Dunn and Marcus Miller helped them to tie for the lead on the Friday Philly card with three sulky victories each.