A 23-1 wagering afterthought, You Ato Dream fired through the "sloppy" Lightning Lane to pull off the shocker in Saturday’s (May 29) Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows and snap the eight-race winning streak of Anoka Hanover.
Love Muffin captured the other division of the $143,132 event for three-year-old trotting fillies known as the Meadow Bright.
You Ato Dream banked more than $217,000 at two, but suffered occasional gait problems. In the Meadow Bright, she rated beautifully in the pocket behind Bella Bellini and poured through late to down the tempo-setter by a half length in a career-fastest 1:53. Lady Chaos completed the ticket.
“She’s a nice filly, and she’s as good as those. It’s just a matter if her manners are up to par,” said winning trainer-driver Jeff Gregory, who co-owns the daughter of Donato Hanover-Dream Child with William Richardson, George Romanoff and Martin Garey. “She’s been a little grabby, and I’ve been trying some things to keep her quiet. Today she sat in the hole like an angel. I’m tickled to death with that more than winning.
“We’ll start her off in Pennsylvania, and then we have her staked to everything. If she shows us she’s good enough, we’ll try her on the Grand Circuit. If she doesn’t, we know we have a good Pennsylvania horse.”
Anoka Hanover, last year’s Dan Patch Award winner who was entering the Meadow Bright off a record mile at Harrah’s Philadelphia, got away fifth for Todd McCarthy and launched a first-over bid that fizzled. She finished last in the field of six, beaten five-and-a-quarter lengths.
“It was always going to be a little tricky to get into it off the times, but I thought she could do it,” McCarthy said. “I think maybe the wet track and a little bit of an off day put a dent in that.”
The other Meadow Bright split was more formful as Love Muffin, the 1-5 selection, retook the lead for Andy Miller and prevailed easily in 1:53.3. Andy Miller Stable gave $200,000 at auction last year for the daughter of Andover Hall-Pine Yankee, projecting her as a broodmare. Miller agreed that his investment is starting to look pretty good.
“As of right now I think it is,” Miller said. “I thought she was the best in that field. I was glad she got away the way she did and the race worked out the way I wanted it to. She’ll stay mostly in Pennsylvania, but she has a couple stakes in Indiana and a couple others at the end of the year.”
Mazzarati finished second, one-and-a-quarter lengths back, with Melania third. Julie Miller trains the winner.
$60,000 PA Stallion Series Stake — Three-Year-Old Trotting Fillies
In Saturday’s subfeature, Piper Hanover took her time reaching the point from post 8 before drawing off, handing the field a nine-and-a-half-length licking in 1:54.4. Alpine and Night Flyer K completed the ticket. Piper Hanover faced top competition at times last year, but winning driver Dave Palone said she might be more comfortable in the stallion series.
“That was really an impressive mile, as bad as the track has become over the last few hours,” Palone said. “She’s much better than those stallion series fillies.”
Tony Alagna conditions the daughter of Father Patrick-Personal Style for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Lynn Katz and Al Libfeld.
The other stallion series divisions went to May Karp and Above The Clouds.
Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and Ron Burke teamed for three wins on the 13-race card.
Live racing at The Meadows resumes Wednesday (June 2), first post 12:45 p.m. (EDT).