Big McDeal, who has flown a bit under the radar in her division, will be a bigger deal now; she's a two-time world champion, thanks to her 1:49.1 victory Saturday in a Pennsylvania Sire Stake division at the Meadows.
The victory was the fastest ever by a sophomore filly pacer on a five-eighths-mile track as well as the fastest distaff mile ever at The Meadows.
The $299,558 event for three-year-old filly pacers, known as the Romola Hanover and part of an exciting Adios elimination card, was conducted over three divisions, with Economy Terror and Dream Of Winning taking the other splits. Dave Palone fashioned a stake double with Big McDeal and Economy Terror.
While American Jewel has dominated her division, Big McDeal has compiled a distinguished record without as much ink. With her win Saturday, the daughter of McArdle-Ideal Gal now has banked $498,053 in her career. She is trained by Ben Wallace for owner Bradley Grant of Milton, Ont.
"She may [get more publicity] now," Wallace said. "She was a worthy filly last year. She put some great numbers up. She set a world record at Lexington beating American Jewel. She's come back this year stronger. Jody Jamieson has done a good job babysitting her back home. We've been worried about racing her off the front. He's done a good job keeping her buried up and fresh and strong for us. Dave benefited from that, really."
In the Romola Hanover, she clicked off fractions of :26.2, :54.3, 1:21.4 and 1:49.1, knocking a tick off the previous mark, which originally was established by Showherthemoney and equalled by See You At Peelers and twice by American Jewel. Darena Hanover was second, two and three-quarter lengths back, with Marty Party third.
One of those fillies overshadowing Big McDeal was Economy Terror, already a millionaire and last year's Dan Patch Award winner. But she entered the Romola Hanover off four consecutive losses -- all to American Jewel, it should be noted. Trainer Chris Oakes' charge added Lasix for Saturday's start, and Economy Terror looked like a terror again. She blazed to the front and scored in a career-best 1:49.4, three and a quarter lengths better than Moonlit Dragon. The first-over Real Touch was third.
"I didn't expect that mile myself," Palone said. "I thought last year when I drove her she was the best two-year-old pacing filly I'd ever driven. After tonight, she's the best three-year-old pacing filly I think I've ever driven. There's a long year yet for her, and she's peaking at the right time."
Chuck Pompey, Howard Taylor and Edwin Gold own Economy Terror, a daughter of Western Terror and Mattatonic.
(With files from The Meadows)