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Sophomore Trotters Star In Simpson

Published: October 14, 2016 11:59 pm ET

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Dayson, who has lost only twice in his 23-start career when he has stayed flat, and Sir Royson, who hadn’t stayed flat in his last four starts (but was second to Dayson the last time he did), won $40,000 divisions of the John Simpson Sr. stakes series for three-year-old trotting colts, as the time-honoured races came to Harrah’s Philadelphia for the first time on Friday (October 14).

Their counterpart fillies also contested two $40,000 divisions, with Lookin Sharp and Southwind Hope emerging victorious.

Dayson went right to the lead in his colt division for driver Yannick Gingras, cutting fractions of :28.4, :57.3, and 1:26.3 with Rock The Bones left on the outside pressing the issue. After that rival faded, the much-improved Skeezix, the Pennsylvania Stallion Series champion, took his shot at the leader, but while racing well he never got any closer than the one and a quarter lengths he was behind at the end of the 1:55 mile.

Dayson is an altered son of Conway Hall who boosted his career earnings to $493,185 with the victory for Burke Racing Stables LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables LLC, and Rossie Smith. His only two losses without a miscue came in the Colonial final (understandable when the competition line reads “Southwind Frank-Marion Marauder-Bar Hopping”) and in his New York Sire Stakes final last week, where he almost overcame post position eight, but was a length shy of Smalltownthrowdown. The win was of some consolation for trainer Ron Burke, as he will likely be checking for a barn illness after several other highly-regarded horses of his finished seriously short of warranted expectation on Friday.

The R-And-I Farms LLC will be very pleased that the recent misbehavior of their Sir Royson came to an end on Friday. The son of Crazed parked favoured Cufflink Hanover to a :28 quarter and well on the way to a :56.1 half before turning him loose to sit the perfect trip, with the pacesetter and first-over Hotitoutofthepark staging a hard battle towards the 1:25 three-quarters, around the turn, and into the stretch. Tim Tetrick then pointed Sir Royson to the passing lane, and the sophomore had to be good this afternoon – and was – to nose out a game Hititoutofthepark, with the favourite settling for third. Trainer Linda Toscano will try to build on the improved decorum of her charge, who did have a victory of Dayson earlier this year which added to his $130,300 bankroll.

Hitoutofthepark was trained by hot conditioner John Butenschoen, who had better luck in one of the two filly sections with the well-travelled Lookin Sharp (whose lines showed stakes races at The Meadowlands, Ocean Downs, Mohawk Racetrack, The Meadows, and Philly). The Andover Hall filly, owned by William Wiswell and M&L of Delaware LLC, was sent away sharply by driver Corey Callahan, commanding the lead in a :27.4 opener before yielding to brushing Goosebump Hanover, then sat behind that one through middle splits of :57 and 1:26.3. When Lookin Sharp cleared inside into the lane, she was even with Maker A Yankee, who had swept wide off the turn and gained, but through the stretch Lookin Sharp lived up to her name to defeat that rival by a length in 1:56.3 and lift her earnings to $286,447.

In the other distaff division, the Muscle Hill miss Southwind Hope (Orange) crushed the $200,000 earnings plateau, as the Andy Miller-driven, Julie Miller-trained filly got home a length to the good of Open Access in 1:55. Southwind Hope came on a second quarter brush to take the lead from Open Access, who had gained it past the :29 first station, then lit up the timer with middle fractions of :58 and 1:27 before storming home in :28 to seal the victory. Southwind Hope raised her bankroll to $219,573 for the Andy Miller Stable Inc., Little E LLC, and Lawrence Dumain.

The sophomore pacers of both sexes will have their Simpson events here on Sunday; the parallel races for two-year-olds will be held on Friday the 28th and Sunday the 30th.

(With files from PHHA)

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