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Manchego Poised For 2018 Debut

Published: May 16, 2018 10:06 pm ET

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Undefeated champion filly Manchego is slated to make her 2018 seasonal debut Monday (May 21) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, racing in the $56,480 tenth-race division of the second preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting misses.

Manchego, a daughter of Muscle Hill and Secret Magic bred by Brittany Farms LLC and owned by Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman, was a winner of each of her twelve trips to the starting gate as a freshman, earning $873,948 and taking divisional honours. She finished her first season with a decisive victory over Phaetosive, whom many considered her closest rival, in the $600,000 Breeders Crown final at Hoosier Park. In preparing for her return she qualified in 1:53.4, turning her last quarter in :27.3. Manchego will start from post three in the eight-horse field for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter as she starts what could be a record-breaking year in any number of ways.

By luck of the draw, the two fastest winners in the first Sire Stakes leg, held at The Meadows on May 12, will be racing against Manchego. What A Knockout (post 2, trainer Marcus Melander, driver David Miller) was victorious in 1:54.4; Live Laugh Love (trainer Nifty Norman, David Miller also listed early) went two ticks faster in keeping her 2018 record perfect after three starts, but here she must contend with drawing post 8.

The $56,480 eleventh-race division contains the other Meadows Sire Stakes winner, Lily Stride (1:55.3). Tim Tetrick will again be behind the filly for trainer Mark Harder after drawing post 4 in an eight-horse field. The $56,080 fifth-race division is likely to be headed by Nixie Volo, who made two strong moves against Live Laugh Love only to come up a head short. Corey Callahan is scheduled to drive Nixie Volo for trainer John Butenschoen from post 5 in a field of seven.


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