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Sophomores To Square Off In Philly

Published: September 4, 2020 11:58 am ET

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Top-level Pennsylvania-sired three-year-olds will gather at Harrah’s Philadelphia this Sunday afternoon (Sept. 6) to contest their respective $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes finals and $50,000 consolation races.

The fields of eight horses won their way into the series finales by accumulating points in four preliminary rounds of the Sire Stakes at the Pennsylvania ovals Pocono, The Meadows, and Harrah’s Philadelphia.

Here is a summary of the major contenders in each division:

THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS (race nine)

The early morning line favourite among the “glamour division” horses is the Sweet Lou gelding No Lou Zing, who has four wins and three second-place finishes in eight seasonal starts for trainer Nancy Takter, including a 1:49.3 victory at The Meadows in his last outing. Dexter Dunn will drive the improving sophomore from post six.

Major contenders include Allywag Hanover (Tim Tetrick, post two), a Brett Pelling-trained colt by Captaintreacherous who has been among the North American division leaders all year, and the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Sandbetweenmytoes (Andy McCarthy, post seven), who won his last two Sire Stakes events at Pocono and The Meadows for trainer Jim Campbell.

THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS (race 10)

The Father Patrick gelding Amigo Volo, who set four world records as a two-year-old and who won a Sire Stakes preliminary at Pocono in 1:52, is the morning line favourite, beginning from post three for trainer Nifty Norman and driver Dexter Dunn. The sophomore made the lead from post 10 in the Hambletonian, had road trouble, and still was a good fourth in that premier event.

The three-ply entry from trainer Åke Svanstedt – Swiss House Onfire (George Napolitano Jr., post one), Gangster Hanover (Svanstedt, post seven) and EL Ideal (Andy Miller, post eight) – will attract a great deal of attention, as will preliminary point leader Hillexotic, who will begin from post two for trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer.

THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (race 11)

Only two horses in the last 18 seasons of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes have been the leading preliminary point winner and then final winner of their division at both two and three – and they have both been trotting fillies: Coulatine (2003-2004) and Frau Blucher (2012-2013).

Another trotting filly is in position to join them: the Father Patrick miss Sister Sledge, beginning from post six for trainer Ron Burke and driver Brian Sears. Sister Sledge has won 13 of 20 lifetime starts and $728,849, and she had two wins and a second-place finish in her three Sire Stakes events this season, including a 1:52 seasonal record at her “home track,” The Meadows.

Given the best chance to upset Sister Sledge is the Sebastian K S filly Next Level Stuff (Tetrick, post one), who had a win and two second-place finishes in her three Sire Stakes outings this season.

THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES (race 12)

Most eyes will tend to focus on the unbeaten Party Girl Hill, a daughter of Captaintreacherous who did not race at two but has made up for lost time by going undefeated in eight starts in 2020, including the Fan Hanover in her last race and the three Sire Stakes events she contested. She holds the season's record of 1:49, not far off Kissmeonthebeach's 1:48.3 world record for the division, and she will start from post one for trainer Chris Ruder and driver Dexter Dunn.

Among those looking to topple her are last year's Sire Stakes champion Lyons Sentinel (Tetrick, post two), three-time preliminary winner Rocknificent (Scott Zeron, post five), and JK First Lady (McCarthy, post six).

Post time for the Sunday Harrah’s Philadelphia card is 12:40 p.m.

(PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia)


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