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Sophomore Fillies Battle In Arden Downs

Published: July 29, 2009 11:16 pm ET

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SJs Minolta endured a parked-out first quarter and a stiff first-over challenge, but she trotted on gamely to capture a division of a $74,284 Arden Downs stake for three-year-old fillies Wednesday at The Meadows.

Daddys Lhasa<, a 16-race maiden entering the evening, took the other division of the stake known as the Ned McCarr. The event was part of Grand Circuit Week at The Meadows, which is highlighted by Saturday’s $677,665 final of the Delvin Miller Adios.

SJs Minolta left for trainer/driver David Wade but didn’t make the lead in the sloppy going until the quarter. Down the backside, she faced the bid of Susquehanna Belle, who appeared to get her head in front for Dave Palone. SJs Minolta dug in and scored in 1:57.2, a head better than Susquehanna Belle, with Caviar Forthe Lady third.

“Palone used a lot of horse to get to me,” said Wade, who owns the daughter of SJs Photo-TJs Royal Tigress with Gerald Brittingham and Kelley Rogers. “When he came off the turn, his horse was a little tired. My filly got tired in the last 100 yards, but Dave’s horse was tired enough that we held up. She just digs in and digs in. You gotta love her.”

Wade treats the filly for equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), a progressive, degenerative neurological disease of the central nervous system that typically impairs coordination. The condition can flair unexpectedly, as it did last week when SJs Minolta broke stride in a PASS event.

“I tried to be real easy on her in that race, warmed her up easy, and I thought she’d race better that way,” Wade said. “When I turned to the gate, she was totally disconnected. Back end and front end weren’t even hooked together. So tonight I warmed her up a little more and let her go on, and she was solid.”

SJs Minolta won for the fifth time in 11 starts this year and pushed her career bankroll beyond $100,000.

Daddys Lhasa had flashed ability throughout her losing streak but had contrived a number of ways to lose. Winning driver Doug Snyder attributed her success in the Ned McCarr to a shoeing change.

“She was catching something and making breaks, and we couldn’t figure out what she was catching,” Snyder said. “We changed her front shoes a little bit — not major stuff, but just enough to clean her up. She’s not a trotter who’ll make breaks every other start. That’s not her. A couple of those breaks should have been called interference breaks. I think she’ll do nothing but get better.”

In the stake, Daddys Lhasa worked out a comfortable pocket trip behind Neiths Song, then trotted home in :29.2 to down that rival by three lengths. Pushover Hanover was third.

Dane Snyder trains Daddys Lhasa, a daughter of Broadway Hall-Lhasa Lhasa Lhasa, for Martin Sternberg and Alvin Katz.

In other action, Zachary Moritz earned his first career training victory when Satin Spider scored in the “Lightning Lane” for Kyle Bolon in the 15th race.

(The Meadows)

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