The Lunch Pail powered to the front and rolled to a comfortable victory in a career-best 1:51.1, fastest in Wednesday’s $60,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series at The Meadows.
The event for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers was contested over three divisions, with Sean Liam Q and Brioni also taking $20,000 splits. Eric Ledford enjoyed a stake double behind The Lunch Pail and Sean Liam Q. The Meadows will host the championships for all eight stallion series divisions Sept. 8-9.
The Lunch Pail dueled with Avalanche Hanover before grabbing the lead and allowing his rival to stalk from the pocket. But Avalanche Hanover couldn’t cut into the margin late and settled for second, one and a half lengths back, with Hemingway third.
“I wanted to cut it with him,” Ledford said. “Last time he was out here he raced really well on the front end. We got away with a pretty nice second quarter, so things worked out pretty good.”
Joe Holloway trains The Lunch Pail, a Yankee Cruiser-Noble Marty gelding, for Michael Ouriel.
Looped while vying for the early lead, Sean Liam Q persevered and prevailed handily in 1:51.2, two and a half lengths better than the rallying Stone Cold Shark. Jins Shark earned show.
“We got strung out in a :26.3 quarter — that wasn’t my objective,” Ledford said of the son of McArdle-Taylor Lou Q. “We were committed to the front after that. But he was pretty strong, considering the fractions.”
Ross Croghan conditions Sean Liam Q for Steve Stewart, Bourbon Creek Stable, Donald Robinson and Michael Robinson.
Brioni competed in the Adios at The Meadows, and while he couldn’t go with that crowd, he favourably impressed Mike Wilder.
“Obviously, he was up against some of the toughest horses in the country, and he wasn’t humiliated in any way,” Wilder said. “When you get a horse like that in the stallion series, you’re pretty confident you have a pretty good shot. He was push button.”
Buoyed by that observation, Wilder sent Brioni on a quarter-pole move that carried him to victory in 1:52.2, one and a quarter lengths ahead of Bristol Bay. Well Said Stride completed the ticket.
Robin Cruise trains the son of Four Starzzz Shark-Armbro Bahama for owner/breeder Ronald Michelon.
In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Cowgirl Hall matched her own track record for older mares — a mark she shares with Daylon Miracle — when she scored a front-end victory in 1:52.4. ER Ellie was eight lengths back in second, with True Day Dream third.
Dave Palone drove the five-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Centerfold Hall for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable. Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jack Piatt III and Michael Rosenthal. Cowgirl Hall extended her career bankroll to $579,463.
Dan Rawlings drove five winners on the 16-race card while Palone and Wilder each fashioned a triple.
Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday, when the card features the Tarport Effrat, a $199,980 PA Sires Stake for sophomore colt and gelding pacers with a field headlined by Adios winner McWicked. First post is 6:55 p.m.