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Cup Eligibles Win PASS Divisions

Published: June 1, 2013 12:40 am ET

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Beach Memories likely stamped his ticket to next week’s Pepsi North America Cup eliminations with a determined 1:49.4 victory in Friday’s $238,220 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows.

The event for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers, known as the Bye Bye Byrd, was contested over three divisions, with Twilight Bonfire and Our Dragon King capturing the other splits.

Beach Memories showed promise at two, but had his season interrupted by a heart ailment that was amenable to treatment.

“He was a month behind, and I had to rush him to get him back to the races,” said winning trainer Brian Brown. “He didn’t have a fair shot. So I raced him in some of the cheaper ones to get him going. He got better at the end of the year.”

In the Bye Bye Byrd, Beach Memories made the front with a quarter-pole move for Dave Palone and held off the late charge of fellow Cup eligible Dedis Dragon to down that rival by a neck in a career-best 1:49.4. Some Kinda Beach was third and favourite Apprentice Hanover, another Cup eligible, finished fourth.

“We’re pretty sure we’re going to the North America Cup,” Brown said. “We don’t get too man chances to race for $1 million.”

Strollin Stable, AWS Stables, King McNamara and Country Club Acres own the Somebeachsomewhere-Allamerican Memoir gelding, a $70,000 yearling acquisition.

He has been assessed at odds of 55-1 in Trot Magazine's 2013 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book while Dedis Dragon is among the top 10 at odds of 18-1 and Apprentice Hanover ranks fifth at 10-1.

If Beach Memories enters the North America Cup, he probably will be joined by Twilight Bonfire (22-1 in Spring Book), who converted a strong first-over move for David Miller to victory in 1:50.1. Twincreeks Jesse shot the Lightning Lane for second, one and a half lengths back, with Bigrisk third.

“He’s come back really strong, but he’s been first up his first two trips. That kind of concerns me a little bit,” said Danny Collins, who trains the son of The Panderosa-Firelight Dancer for owner/breeder Bob Key. “There’s not a lot of 1:49 miles in a horse and we’re having to use them awful early. He’s probably going to the North America Cup. There’s no rest for the weary right now.”

Prior to the Bye Bye Byrd, trainer Sam DePinto outlined his preferred scenario for Brett Miller, the circumstances that would produce an upset win for Our Dragon King.

“Sam said that if I could sit in the two or three-hole behind the good colts of Brian Brown (Normandy Invasion) and Chris Ryder (Martini Hanover), his horse would beat them,” Miller said. “He was very confident in his colt and the horse went super.”

DePinto must have been reading a crystal ball because that’s exactly what happened. While the favourites engaged in a cutthroat duel early on, Our Dragon King sat comfortably in third before charging through the Lightning Lane to produce that 14-1 upset in 1:50.2, a lifetime mark. Martini Hanover saved place, two and a quarter lengths in arrears, while Delaware Hanover rallied for show.

Desyllas Racing, William Beck and Carol Rieken own Our Dragon King, a Dragon Again-Fox Valley Monika gelding who pushed his career bankroll over $300,000.

In the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, Tamarind exploited a break by the leader to pull off a 25-1 shocker in 1:53.4, a lifetime mark, for Aaron Merriman, trainer Marcus Marashian and owner Bill Bercury. TSM Photo Bugger and Rembrandt Spur completed the ticket. The five-year-old son of Angus Hall-Spicegirl Kosmos now has banked $447,348.

Palone and Brett Miller each drove four winners on the 15-race card while Merriman fashioned a three-bagger.

Stake racing at The Meadows resumes Monday with a $60,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event for three-year-old filly pacers. First post is 12:55 p.m.

(With files from The Meadows)


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