Sire Stakes Invade Philadelphia

Published: July 18, 2018 05:43 pm EDT

Freshmen trotting fillies were certainly out in force on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia, as the track hosted second-round action in both five divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and six divisions of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series.

Sonnet Grace now has three stakes wins in as many career starts, including two in Sire Stakes, after rallying in the passing lane for a 1:57.2 victory. The daughter of Muscle Massive – I Believe rode in the pocket behind Magical Beliefs, then outkicked her home with breeder-owner-trainer-driver Rod Allen barely having to ask his baby filly for more down the lane.

The Explosive Matter–Fast Lane K filly Rush Lane began her career with three-straight seconds but she changed her luck today and got home first in 1:56.2. Rush Lane made two early rushes to the lead for driver Yannick Gingras and retained control after the second one, holding off the uncovered bid of favoured Personal Paradise by one-and-three-quarter lengths for trainer Richard Gillock and owner-breeder Robert Key.

Corey Callahan was patient early with the Muscle Hill–UF Tady’s Donato filly Scirocco Donnahill, keeping her behind the cover of favoured Fate Smiled. When that one moved to the lead off the first bend, Callahan went up with Scirocco Donnahill, took command and maintained her advantage on her rival to the wire in 1:57. The John Butenschoen trainee, second in a PA All-Stars race in her only other purse event, won by a length for owners Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr.

Antonia left slowly, moved uncovered from sixth past the quarter, finally reached cover then gapped from it in the backstretch and around the far turn. However, the Donato Hanover–Tactical Caviar filly was tipped wide by driver David Miller and ate up real estate through the stretch, reaching the wire a half-length ahead of favoured pacesetter Darla P while stopping the clock in 1:57, a new mark. The pupil of Richard "Nifty" Norman competes Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC, and the Pinske Stables.

The Burke Brigade took a Sire Stakes prize at Philly with the Donato Hanover–Susis Image filly Hanovers Best, who set the pace for Yannick Gingras then held off favourite Ma Was Right by the slightest of margins while stopping the timer in 1:57. The winner, who made a break in her only other purse start, races for owner William Fisher.

In Stallion Series action, the Explosive Matter–Nans Conway miss Navarone Hanover overcame post six and a tuck-then-grind journey for Tim Tetrick, gunning down pacesetter Lindy Missunshine by three-quarter lengths late while taking a mark of 1:58. The Bob Baggitt Jr.-trained filly, owned by Christine Baggitt, is now undefeated after two purse starts.

The Muscle Massive–Ts Fast Forward filly Fast Reaction is now two-for-two in the Stallion Series after edging Southwind Percy by a neck in 1:58, lowering her mark. Trainer-driver Rick Beinhauer, also breeder and owner with Regina Beinhauer, used the rail to maximum advantage, putting everybody in behind his filly early and continuing her speed through the wire.

Another daughter of Muscle Massive, Wizard Hawk (out of the mare Valley Makayla), stayed close behind tempo-setter Run Lindy Run, who eventually ran on the front and passed the lead to Wizard Hawk. She maintained control through to a 1:58.4 maiden victory. Charlie Norris trains and drives the freshman, owned by Carrie Norris, LJB Racing LLC, and Scott Mceneny.

The Explosive Matter–Warrawee Lassie filly Wildfire Seelster took her Stallion Series cut in a maiden mark of 2:00.1 by staying flat behind others who did not. Fourth early, then third as the leader broke at the half, then second as the pocket-sitter broke, driver Victor Kirby steadily advanced the filly, taking the inside path home to a three-and-one-quarter length victory over Chanel De Vie. Owner-trainer Austin Brubacker’s baby had not been worse than fourth in three purse starts, but she made her breakthrough today by staying calm and steady.

Trainer Ron Burke also captured a Stallion Series division with the Muscle Hill–Say What filly Southwind Storm, making her two-for-two in the Stallion Series competition. Matt Kakaley and his Ron Burke-trained filly had control of the race early and were never threatened, stopping the timer in 2:00 which equaled the mark she took in her other Stallion Series win. She's owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Lawrence Karr, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

The Possess The Will–Raising Rachel filly Fashion Rachel won the final event in 1:58, holding off the potential pocket rocket and favourite Explosive Mel by a length. David Miller handled the winner for trainer Jim Campbell and owner/breeder Fashion Farms LLC.

(With files from the PHHA)

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