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Racing Hill, Manhattan Beach Win Adios Eliminations

Published: July 23, 2016 5:41 pm ET

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Racing Hill, the 1-5 favourite, overpowered the field as he captured his elimination in the 50th edition of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids in 1:49.1, while Manhattan Beach found late racing room to take Saturday’s other $25,000 elimination at The Meadows.

Those two will be joined in next Saturday afternoon’s $400,000 Adios final by Check Six, Lyons Snyder, More Dragon, Fernando Hanover, Another Daily Copy, American Passport and Big Top Hanover. Big Top Hanover earned his berth in the field of nine as the fifth-place finisher with higher career earnings. Five of the six entrants trained by Ron Burke made it through to the final.

The draw for Adios post positions is set for Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. and can be seen on Meadows Live! The connections of Racing Hill and Manhattan Beach will choose their post positions, with the others drawn randomly.

Racing Hill boasted the strongest credentials in the field, having won the final of the $500,000 Hempt Memorial and finishing second in the Meadowlands Pace and the final of the North America Cup—each of those a $1 million event. If that gruelling schedule of five tough races in little more than six weeks took anything out of him, it wasn’t evident in his Adios elimination.

The son of Roll With Joe-Chasing Ideals made the front with an extended quarter-pole move for Brett Miller and thwarted the first-over challenge of Check Six to down him by three-quarters of a length. Early leader Lyons Snyder finished third.

“He’s just ultra-sharp,” said Tony Alagna, who trains Racing Hill for owner/breeder Tom Hill. “He felt so good coming out of the Meadowlands Pace—he was so fresh and jogged great—that I felt good about bringing him here.

“If the final had been an open draw, I probably would have preferred that he sit in so we could make the final. But with the new format this year, it’s important that you get to pick your post—especially with a bunch of Burke horses making the final. You don’t want to draw the nine-hole against a big entry.”

The victory pushed Racing Hill’s lifetime bankroll over $835,000.

Manhattan Beach saved ground for most of the mile before Matt Kakaley sent him through a seam in mid-stretch. He held off the Lightning Lane charge of his stablemate, Fernando Hanover, to defeat him by a neck in 1:50.2, a career-best clocking. Another Daily Copy, who fronted the mile, saved show.

Kakaley said he wasn’t worried about being pinned late.

“If I’d had to wait for the passing lane, he’d have got through,” he said. “There was no worry there. He raced really good in the Meadowlands Pace, and he raced good today. He was sneaky good a few starts before the North America Cup. Hopefully he brings his ‘A’ game next week.”

Burke conditions Manhattan Beach, a Somebeachsomewhere-Benear gelding who soared over $200,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Geoffrey Lyons Mound and Wingfield Brothers.

As thoughts turned to Tuesday’s draw for post positions, both camps seemed to be heading in the same direction.

“The inside here is tough to get off,” Miller said. “I got away fourth today from the rail, and I was leaving just about as hard as I could. I could live with post three, but I think I’d rather have post four, right around there.”

Kakaley’s reasoning was similar.

“I don’t want the one or two-hole,” he said. “Probably three or four.”

Pure Country Streaks To Fifth Straight Stakes Win

Pure Country continued her relentless march to a second straight divisional title, capturing her fifth consecutive victory in Saturday’s Pennsylvania Sires Stakes action at The Meadows, part of the Adios eliminations card.

Shesasmokinlady took the other division in the $159,350 event for three-year-old filly pacers known as the Romola Hanover.

Pure Country won all 10 starts at two en route to her Dan Patch Award. While she’s lost three of nine outings this year, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Montana appears to have elevated her game to a new level, with victories in the finals of the Fan Hanover and the Lynch and two straight PASS splits.

“I’ve never driven a filly like her,” said winning driver Brett Miller. “I don’t know if I’ve ever driven a colt like her. She might be the best horse I’ve ever driven. To race at the top level like this every week and be that good — it’s amazing. She’s one of the smartest fillies I’ve ever sat behind, and she has the heart of a champion. The couple times I got beat with her, it was probably my fault.”

In the Romola Hanover, Pure Country grabbed the lead with a quarter-pole move, easily thwarted the first-over challenge of I Said Diamonds and defeated the pocket-sitting Darlinonthebeach by two and a half lengths in 1:50. Shezarealdeal earned show. Jimmy Takter trains Pure Country, who now boasts $1,418,833 in career earnings, for Diamond Creek Racing.

Shesasmokinlady also made the front past the quarter for trainer/driver Ray Paver and owner/breeder Iris Horowitz, and had just enough in the tank to hold off Newborn Sassy by a nose in 1:50.4. Call Me Queen Be completed the ticket.

“I figured if I got away third today, I wasn’t sitting,” said Paver of Shesasmokinlady, who now has $144,795 in her bankroll. “She usually doesn’t get tired, but she looks for a horse to race. A horse never really got to her until late.”

Although she may reach the PASS final or consolation leg, Paver said a stakes payments snafu has left Shesasmokinlady with only one definite stakes engagement — the Keystone Classic at The Meadows.

Saturday’s program also featured five divisions of the $100,000 PA Stallion Series for three-year-old filly pacers; as with the other stakes on the card, this one became “Miller Time.” Miller won two splits, giving him four stakes victories on the day, while trainer Michael Hall enjoyed a stakes double.

The highlight for Miller and Hall was the 1:51.1 win by Dismissal, which lowered the stakes record of 1:51.3 previously held by Icommandmyspirt and matched earlier in the day by A List Hanover. Hall owns Dismissal, a daughter of Western Terror-Her Mattjesty. The other three splits went to Terror At Night, Kryptos and Square Dancer.

A List Hanover saw her stakes record fall, but she turned in a huge performance, challenging first over for longer that winning driver Dan Rawlings intended.

“The more I grabbed her, the more her gait became less than perfect,” Rawlings said. “So I let her go as fast and as far as she could.”

Gingertreescarlett finished second, three lengths back, with Nips Beach Girl third. Hall trains and leases A List Hanover, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Allamerican Nadia.

Terror At Night also converted a first-over trip to victory, edging by early leader Hug A Dragoness by half a length in 1:51.4, a lifetime mark. Donnas Beach completed the ticket.

“She’s one of the laziest fillies I’ve ever driven,” Miller said. “You have to make her do her work. When she made the front, she thought the race was over. If you’re on the front, it’s not as bad, but if you’re passing somebody, she pulls up as soon as she gets by.”

(With files from The Meadows)

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