Sweet Amira, Roy Make First Meadows Start A PASS Win

Sweet Amira

Sweet Amira refused to relinquish the early lead, endured the ensuing :26.1 opening panel and still had enough to score in Saturday’s (Aug. 12) $144,064 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows. Southwind Icenfire captured the other division in the event, known as the Romola Hanover, for sophomore filly pacers. 

Sweet Amira had something in common with top Canadian driver Louis-Philippe Roy, trainer Chantal Mitchell and owners Lindsey Rankin and Connie Rankin — none had ever raced before at The Meadows. They may return regularly after the 1:50.3 victory by the daughter of Sweet Lou-Bolt Of Thunder, but that win didn’t come easily.

Roy had a chance to release C Is For Cookie and chase from the pocket, but that wasn’t where he preferred to be.

“She’s had bad trips more often than anybody else this year, especially in the Fan Hanover elimination,” said Roy. “So I think she’s a little better than what she shows. I wanted to give her a good shot, and leaving the gate, it felt like the best way to do that was to control the race.”

Sweet Amira held off the rallying Odds On Hail Mary by a half-length, with 3-5 favourite Beach Cowgirl third.

Sweet Amira, who is eligible to a number of rich late-season stakes, extended her career bankroll to $167,985.

Southwind Icenfire made the decisive move with a quick backside burst from third for Yannick Gingras that surprised even Kevin Lare, who conditions the daughter of Betting Line-Southwind Inertia for Frank Chick.

“I was expecting her to give a good burst. I don’t know that I was expecting her to run by the bunch of horses that she did,” said Lare. “We’ve been taking her off the gait, trying to prep her for this race, and it worked out really perfect.” 

She triumphed in a career-best 1:50.3 to lift her lifetime bankroll to $144,164.

Daffled Hanover was second, beaten a length, with early leader Knights Tale third. 

$60,000 PA Stallion Series — Three-Year-Old Filly Pacers

How Sweet Is That, Racin Hungry and Hello Yes Hi each took a division in Saturday’s sub-feature.

How Sweet Is That followed first-up cover to a 1:52.1 victory, although winning driver Dave Palone said that trip was Plan B.

“Plan A was to cross her over and wait on one or just get around there on her own fractions,” said Palone. “But everybody had the same intentions, so I just took her back. We followed cover and she took care of the rest.” 

The daughter of Sweet Lou-Dreams On Me prevailed by a length for trainer Robert Cleary and owners Oompa’s Farm, Inc., Robert Mondillo, Craig Henderson and Richard Gutnick. Romantic Evening was third-placed second, with Always Be City fourth-placed third. 

Ronnie Wrenn Jr. collected four wins on the 13-race card, including three for trainer Ron Burke. Aaron Merriman and trainer Dana Kahrig teamed for a pair of wins, as did Brady Brown and trainer Justin Lloyd.

Great Lakes Amateur Driving Association

Stephen “You’re Never Too” Oldford and A Royal Line proved that you’re never too far back-ford, either, as they made up five lengths in the stretch and pulled off a 77-1 shocker in Saturday’s $10,000 leg of the Great Lakes Amateur Driving Association (GLADA) amateur trot.

Tom “Mayhem” Svrcek driving Just Like Magic cut the fractions and appeared to have an insurmountable lead. But when Oldford angled A Royal Line off the cones out of the final turn, the seven-year-old Royalty For Life-Direct Dial gelding responded willingly. He downed Svrcek by a head in 1:57.1, with Nikki “Barista” Harvey in rein to Never Say Uncle and Joelene “The Jewel” Christman  aboard Forever Jesse completing the ticket.

Oldford credited the victory to advice he got from Scott Zeron, who won this year’s Hambletonian with Tactical Approach at 12-1 by brushing inside through the lane. Zeron was at The Meadows Saturday for sires stakes racing. 

“When he saw my odds, Scottie said, ‘Just sit, sit, sit. It treated me well.’ I said, ‘I know. I’ve watched your win about 10 times, so that’s what we’ll do.’ I didn’t think I had any shot," said Oldford. "I thought, okay, we’ll finish this race up, get a cheque and we’ll call it a day. But the guys in the front beat the daylights out of each other, just like with Scottie in the Hambo.”

Terry Deters trains A Royal Line, who now boasts a career bankroll of $196,136, for Oldford Racing, LLC.

Live racing at The Meadows resumes on Wednesday (Aug. 16), with first post at 12:45 p.m.

(Meadows Standardbred Owners Association)

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