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Is She The Spoiler In The Lynch?

Published: June 27, 2013 9:08 pm ET

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Tony Alagna hopes there is no sophomore slump for Nikki Beach as she gets ready for Saturday’s $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for three-year-old female pacers at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

Last year, Nikki Beach hit a mid-season swoon before rebounding to set a track record at Indiana Downs and come within a nose of a three-race win streak. This season, she opened the campaign with a victory in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, but finished off the board in her next three starts.

Alagna, though, is hopeful the filly is returning to top form after she finished second to I Luv The Nitelife in her Lynch elimination last weekend. He also thinks her performances prior to the elim were not evidence of a slump.

“She was tremendous her first start back this year and then she had a rough second start at the Meadowlands; she was parked the whole mile against aged mares,” Alagna said. “That took a lot out of her. I knew it was going to take a couple starts to get her back to where she was. She showed back up the other night.

“She went through this a little bit last year. She hit a little midseason slump, but came back and was better than ever at the end of the year. She’s done it before so I wasn’t too concerned. If she didn’t have that bad start at the Meadowlands in her second start (this year) I think she would have had some more consistency.”

Nikki Beach will start the Lynch final from post No. 1 with Ron Pierce driving. She is 12-1 on the morning line and is one of three horses from Alagna’s stable in the race. The others are Authorize, who is 15-1, and 20-1 outsider Mattie Terror Girl.

Multiple-stakes-winner I Luv The Nitelife, who has won three races in-a-row including the Fan Hanover final on June 15 at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario and her Lynch elimination last weekend, drew post eight in the nine-horse field but was still made the morning line favourite at 5-2.

“She was very good,” driver Tim Tetrick said. “We got a great trip. When I got out in the passing lane she just exploded. She raced really well. Every time I’ve raced her she’s done everything I’ve asked her to do. In Canada she was super, super good and in her elimination she was tucked in, braved up and finished strong.”

Shebestingin, who has won eight of 10 career starts and was second by a head and a neck in her defeats, is 3-1 while Ms Caila J Fra, who won the other Lynch elimination, is 4-1. Charisma Hanover, who has won five of six starts this year, is 9-2 and Somwherovrarainbow, who was voted last season’s best two-year-old female pacer in North America, is 6-1.

Nikki Beach, owned by Brittany Farms, has won six of 16 career starts and earned $297,233. Last year she won divisions of the Reynolds, Kentuckiana Stallion Management, and Bluegrass Stakes. She was second by a neck to Jerseylicious in the Sweetheart Pace and second by a nose to Parlee Beach in a division of the International Stallion Stakes.

Her 1:52.1 victory in the Kentuckian Stallion Management set the track record for two-year-old filly pacers at Indiana Downs.

“I think she has the best shot,” Alagna said. “She can leave, she can get in position, and that track kind of favors a horse like her that can get off the gate well.”

$300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial
1. Nikki Beach
2. Authorize
3. Ms Caila J Fra
4. Charisma Hanover
5. Shebestingin
6. Somwherovrarainbow
7. Jerseylicious
8. I Luv The Nitelife
9. Mattie Terror Girl

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit

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