The first pace saw the ultraconsistent Rocknificent, competitive not only within the state but with the North American elite, handle a late pocket charge from Drama Act to win in 1:51.3. Scott Zeron sent the daughter of Captaintreacherous out of the $2M+-winning Rocklamation, who was second choice at 3-2 to Drama Act’s 1-2, to the lead from post six, with Drama Act from the rail maintaining the pocket through pedestrian fractions of :27.1, :56.4, and 1:24.3. When both the fillies’ pedals were pushed to the metal, however, they dueled home in :27, with Rocknificent holding off her rival by a neck to run her seasonal record to 10-5-2-3-$242,530 and her lifetime tally to 23-10-4-7-$524,036 for trainer Linda Toscano and the partnership of Enviro Stables LTD, South Mountain Stables, and Little E LLC.
Turning to the trotters: Next Level Stuff raised her lifetime win record to 10 triumphs in 19 starts by posting a 1:55 victory in her division. With main foe Fifty Cent Piece eliminating herself early, the daughter of Sebastian K S quarter-moved after a :27.3 opener, got a breather to the half in :58.1, then tripped the three-quarters in 1:26.4 and held safe Electrapedia by 1¾ lengths. Todd McCarthy, quickly adapting to top-level North American competition, drove the winner of $328,816 for trainer Jim Campbell and Runthetable Stables.
A similar scenario developed in another Liberty Bell trot, as Dune Hill made an early misstep, leaving the path clear for the Muscle Massive miss Miss McKee to head down the road for driver George Napolitano Jr., with fractions of :28.1, :58.1, and 1:26 leading to an open length triumph in 1:54.2. The Jack Baggitt Jr.-trained filly now has seven wins in twelve seasonal starts and over $110,000 on her card this year for J L Sadowsky LLC.
The Hall of Fame is not likely to be calling for a copy of the third division. After the Andover Hall filly SVF Blushingbride made the lead in :27.4 and got to the half in :58.1 ahead of her five opponents, the following happened in this order: 1) first-over Impressive Fashion made a break just past the midway point, leaving Cover Girl uncovered; 2) pocketsitter Aldebaran Revani made a miscue off turn two, causing 3) I’m Winin Hanover right behind her to suffer an “ix,” which let Cover Girl take the pocket and left favored Molto Bene uncovered; 4) the “first-up” horse broke at the 1:26.3 three-quarters, leaving a two-horse breakaway until 5) Cover Girl misbehaved past midturn. That left driver Simon Allard and the Lou Pena-trained filly all alone to trot out in 1:57, with SVF Blushingbride’s margin over the recovering Cover Girl 9 1/2 lengths. The subsequent inquiries into the breaks caused the red lighting on the tote board to use more electricity than a Christmas display, but only Aldebaran Revani, for causing interference, was placed lower.