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Bella Bellini, 'Reign' Dazzle In PA All-Stars

Published: June 13, 2021 10:30 pm ET

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Bella Bellini and Dazzling Reign, both winners at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono last Sunday but in different classes, were united this Sunday (June 13) in each capturing a $37,500 division of a Pennsylvania All-Stars event for three-year-old trotting fillies at the northeast Pennsylvania oval.

The Bar Hopping filly Bella Bellini, successful in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (PASS) last week despite having to go uncovered, again had to overcome first-over duties, but she did so in spectacular fashion in 1:54. 2020 Breeders Crown winner Lady Chaos got command past a :27.4 quarter, and after getting a stroll to the half in :58.1 — with Bella Bellini still five lengths behind — the path looked good for Lady Chaos, winner of the other PASS cut seven days ago. But Dexter Dunn got the "Nifty" Norman-trained filly underway up the backside and uncorked a sizzling own last half of :54.4/:27 to easily sail past Lady Chaos by two-and-a-half lengths. Anoka Hanover, well-placed on the winner’s back, ruined her chances with a break.

After going winless in seven starts at two, Bella Bellini has now put together a 7-5-2-0 tally this season, with the two losses each by only a half length in Sire Stakes legs. Owner David Mc Duffee appears to have a filly fully capable of competing on the national stage.

The Father Patrick filly Dazzling Reign had posted two wins and a second in her last three starts against Stallion Series horses; here she showed he could handle tougher company, including odds-on favourite Love Muffin, while equaling her mark of 1:54.1. The chalk, winner of two-straight Sire Stakes before a miscue last week, was used hard to a :26.3 quarter for the top, but she backed the midrace splits down to :56.3 and 1:25.1. Dazzling Reign kept inching up uncovered, and in the end driver Todd McCarthy was able to get her past Love Muffin by a nose for trainer Claude Huckabone III and owner James Crawford IV.

The American Harness Driver Club amateur series made a visit to Pocono Sunday, and in a race with several lead changes, the Andover Hall gelding Inaperfectworld and owner-driver Tony Ciuffetelli had the advantage at the wire. The Jordan Derue trainee held off the oncharging Zooming and former national champion Steve Oldford by a head in 1:58.2. The 59-year-old Ciuffetelli now has 75 driving victories, with 49 coming in the last six years.

Pocono’s Monday (June 14) 12:30 p.m. (EDT) card will again find the toughest claiming trotters on the grounds facing each other in a $12,800 feature. Program pages are available at the PHHA website.

(PHHA / Pocono)

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