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Champagne Tonight Celebrates Another PASS Trophy

Published: August 31, 2012 11:28 am ET

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Champagne Tonight established herself as the early favourite for her Pennsylvania Sire Stakes $200,000 Championship event next Friday at The Meadows, as the two-year-old pacing daughter of Western Terror stormed to a pacesetting 1:53 victory in her division of the $343,162 final preliminary leg of the series at Harrah’s Philadelphia Thursday afternoon.

Champagne Tonight threw a :55.1 back half at her foes to give her a 3-1-0 record four starts in the Sire Stakes, and a 6-1-0 tally in seven outings inher brief career, drawing clear late for driver Tony Hall, trainer Clair Umholtz, and the ownership team of Umholtz Racing Stable Inc, Ngaire Umholtz, and the Kennedy Sports Corporation.

Wherethegirlsare had made breaks in her two previous lifetime starts, but on Thursday her decorum was perfect as she matched the earlier 1:53 winning clocking. Reserved off a third quarter duel between favourites South Pacific and Donna Lee, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere came from sixth, five lengths down at headstretch to pick up her group late – a classic drive from Hall of Famer Ron Pierce, who handled sulky duties for trainer Jimmy Takter (again on the pacing side) and retiring WEG magnate David Wilmot, co-owner with Clay Horner.

The Christian Cullen filly Handsoffmycupcake secured herself the No. 2 preliminary points position while winning the third section in 1:54.3. “Cupcake” rated the early pace, and her :56.3-28 end splits were enough to hold off determined pocket-rusher Sweet Talia for driver Daniel Dube, trainer Scott Di Domenico, and JFE Enterprise LLC.

The last Sire Stakes preliminary of the season will take place tonight at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as three divisions of freshman diamond-gaited fillies will try to attain enough points to make their lucrative final in a $329,539 event. On Saturday, the Pennsylvania three-year-olds go after $1,000,000 on their Championship night right back at Pocono, while the two-year-olds, as mentioned, will also go for a million a week from today (September 7) at The Meadows.

(Harrah's Philadelphia)

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