CHESTER PA – The second choice came through in each of the three divisions of the first preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies Wednesday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia, on a card which also featured seven Stallion Series sections.
First to Victory Lane was the Somebeachsomewhere miss Thebeachiscalling, who had earned $161,196 without winning in the first ten starts of her career, but built on a winning effort last week to take her Sires event in a new mark of 1:50 for owner Bella Racing LTD. The winner was first on top but then saw Grace Hill and then favored Blue Diamond Eyes go by her past the :26.4 quarter, with the latter carrying on to a fast :54.1 half and a 1:21.4 three-quarters, nearing which Thebeachiscalling was taken outside to challenge by driver Andrew McCarthy.
Next to the winners circle was the Sweet Lou filly Continualou, in her first race since winning the Matron last November. David Miller went to the top with the filly and got “soft” fractions of :27, :55.4, and 1:23.3, which left her having plenty in the tank to see off the uncovered move of favored JK Alwaysbalady by three-quarters of a length in 1:51. Ron Burke trains the versatile filly for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
In the third section, Marsala Hanover was dispatched as the favorite, but the filly found grinding from fifth a bit too much as the Always B Miki filly Always B First moved out for Yannick Gingras past a :27.1 quarter to make the lead well before a :55 half, and then passed the three-quarters in 1:22.3. From there Always B First was able to withstand the chalk by a length in a mile in 1:50, her best clocking. The winner has now taken four of her last five races for trainer Robert Cleary and the partnership of Oompa’s Farm Inc., Robert Mondillo, Craig Henderson, and Allen Wenc.
In the Stallion Series competition, six of the seven winners took new lifetime marks (we’ll mention the one who “just” equaled hers). Dexter Dunn drove three winners, one of them for trainer Chris Ryder, who also won a Sire Stake: the Somebeachsomewhere filly Podium Girl, who closed in 26.4 to win in 1:51.1 for Henderson Farms, Robert Mondillo, and Barry Spak. Dexter also checked in first with the Artspeak filly Filly Speaks in 1:52 for trainer Scott Betts and owners Timothy Betts, Nicholas Catalano, and Keith Pippi, and with the Captaintreacherous filly Classicist, a 1:52.2 winner for trainer Tahnee Camilleri and owner David Kryway.
“Team Orange Crush,” trainer Julie and driver Andy Miller, have been on a roll lately, and they had two Stallion Series successes: with the Always B Miki miss So Miki Hanover, up the inside to win in 1:52.1 for owners Michael Cimaglio, A And B Stable, and Charles Elliott, and with Tonianne, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere who equaled the 1:52.4 mark she took two starts back for Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Louis Willinger.
Driver David Miller, who joined trainer Chris Ryder as winners in both the Sire Stakes and Stallion Series, had the fastest winner in the latter grouping, the Sweet Lou filly Chase Lounge, who at 9-1 was the biggest-paying stakes horse of the day while scoring in 1:51 for owner William Hartt and trainer Roland Mallar (Team Miller-Mallar?). Completing the list of stakes success was the Somebeachsomewhere filly Staycation Hanover, who won the last race in 1:51.3 for owner David Mc Duffee, trainer Brett Pelling, and driver Todd McCarthy – 4 hours and 46 minutes after Todd won the first race of the day.
FINISHING LINES – Trainer Scott Di Domenico, among the top ten trainers at Philly, tied for first at Freehold, and second at Yonkers, harnessed the 2000th winner of his career Tuesday night at Yonkers when Maroma Beach won. Di Domenico-trained horses have amassed almost $30 million, and Scott has a lifetime win ratio just north of 17%. … After the usual hardhitting “Trottin’ Thursday” card at Philly, PA-sired three-year-old fillies will be featured Friday, this time the trotters, with most of the divisional leaders from last year being joined by 2021 sensation Bella Bellini. Program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html.