They took different paths to glory, but Virgin Mary and Hot List each captured a division of Monday’s $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake at The Meadows in 1:53.3, establishing a stakes record that they now share
The event for three-year-old filly pacers, which kicked off The Meadows’ 2011 stakes season, was contested over five divisions, with Macapelo Rose, Sand Starla and Quik Pulse Daisy taking the other $20,000 splits.
Virgin Mary worked out a second-over trip for Dave Palone before she sprang loose near the far turn, drawing off to win by 6-1/4 lengths. Her time knocked a tick from the stakes mark set last year by Smoke Pan Mirrors. Love You Always was second, with Babe Zee well back in third.
“Our strategy was to race her off the pace - that’s what she likes the best,” Palone said. “She has a really wicked move, so the race set up perfectly for her. I think she can go with the top fillies. This was kind of an evaluation race, and she more than passed her test.”
Ron Burke trains the homebred daughter of Village Jolt-Sistermarymargaret for Howard Taylor.
The mark stood for about 30 minutes until Hot List notched her facile front-end victory, prevailing by 3-1/4 lengths over Blissful Artist. Upfront Sophieanne finished third. Hot List is something of a rarity in that a single person, Chris Ryder, is her breeder, owner, trainer and driver.
“I had four out of the same dam,” Ryder said of the daughter of Mcardle-Only Gossip. “The first one the Jersey Classic, the next two were slow, and this filly’s okay. I’m real happy with her. She’s an easy keeper, doesn’t get nervous. When I started out with her, she didn’t show me any speed, but she keeps getting better and better.”
Macapelo Rose sat comfortably in the two hole for Dick Stillings, then pulled the pocket around the final turn to score in 1:53.4. NY Yankees was second, with Nutmegs Cider third.
“She’s getting a little more education, and it’s showing on the racetrack,” Stillings said. “”She’s better than she was when she came here, but I think this is the right spot for her.”
Dane Snyder trains Macapelo Rose, a daughter of Mcardle-Capelo Rose, for Stake Your Claim Stable.
In the $22,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Here We Go Again erased a 7-1/2-length deficit in a heartbeat and went on to down Object Of Art in 1:51.3. Hennessy Hanover was a ground-saving third. Palone drove for Burke and Here We Go Again Stable.
Palone piloted four winners and Stillings three on the 16-race card.
Tuesday’s card at The Meadows features the $210,109 Adios Betty, a PA Sires Stake contest for sophomore filly pacers.