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Upset Parade In PASS Championships

Published: September 29, 2009 1:19 am ET

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On a night when all four favourites in the two-year-old Pennsylvania Stallion Series championships went down in flames, TSM Ryans Dragon provided the biggest shocker of all, taking the final for pacing colts and geldings at a juicy 28-1.

The championships and consolations offered combined purses of $240,000. The MGM Pan, Thierry and Liz also captured championships. Mike Wilder enjoyed a championship driving double (TSM Ryans Dragon, Thierry) while Dave Palone drove five winners on the 16-race card.

On Tuesday, The Meadows will host four two-year-old Pennsylvania Sires Stake championships and an equal number of consolations, with a total of $1 million in PASS purses on the line.

TSM Ryans Dragon managed just one win in eight previous starts, but trainer Karen Fread considered his sky-high odds unjustified.

“He shouldn’t have been any more than 5-1,” she said. “I knew he would be right there with them. He’s been racing in bad luck. We knew we had the horse. As long as he had room, I knew that’s all he needed.”

In the championship, he had little trouble passing the tiring leaders with an uncovered move and held off the late bid of Mcdickerson, downing that rival by a length in 1:54.2 and lowering his lifetime mark by more than three seconds. Tom Paine was a weary third.

Ted Tomson bought Lovin Yankee, the dam of the Dragon Again ridgling, for $25,000 in foal with TSM Ryans Dragon at the Yankeeland Farms dispersal. The youngster carries Tomson’s TSM (“Turning Speed to Money”) nom de course.

Here is a recap of what transpired in the other championships:

Pacing Fillies

Not to be outdone in the upset department, The MGM Pan converted a second-over trip to victory at 25-1. NF Salsa nosed out Blue Moon Artist for the place award.

“The first time I drove her, she was in kind of tough, so I just rode the fence with her and raced for a check,” said winning driver Tony Hall. “But we thought she would be a lot better tonight. I wanted to get away as close as possible and try to catch cover. It worked out perfectly.”

Tony Alagna trains the homebred daughter of No Pan Intended-Pandalay Bay for Peter Pan Stables.

Trotting Colts

Thierry was a six-race maiden entering the championship yet hit the board in each of those starts, a record that suggested he needed only a break to win. He got it Monday in the form of a pocket trip behind Punxsy Chuck. Bret Miller found late room with Thierry, and the 14-1 shot drew clear to score in 1:59.1. Punxsy Chuck was second, with Tommaso a closing third.

“We felt he was the kind of horse that didn’t like to win,” said Fred Grant, who trains the Cantab Hall-Trance Anthem homebred for Russell Williams. “If he was on the front, he didn’t like it, yet he wouldn’t go by horses. He got a good trip tonight and had a lot of trot in the stretch. It wasn’t a real strong last quarter, but time only counts in calendars.”

Trotting Fillies

In the most formful of the championships, 8-5 second pick Liz powered up first over and went on to defeat 4-5 favourite Si Bon Hall by more than two lengths in a career-best 1:59.3. Tina Tim was third.

Liz was tentative in her first several starts but now has won three of her last four and displayed her racy side.

“She was a lot better,” said her trainer, Tabitha Teresczuk. ”I think putting her on the front last week helped her, although she was a little hotter. I might race her here in a late closer in October. She hasn’t had that many starts, and she’s sharp right now.”

Bob Slowey and Carl Konieczny bred and own the daughter of SJs Photo-Susannah.

(The Meadows)

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