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PASS Readies For Trotting Sophomores

Published: May 19, 2021 3:46 pm ET

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Trotting sophomores will be in the spotlight this weekend at the eastern Pennsylvania tracks, with the fillies in PA Sire Stakes and Stallion Series action at Harrah’s Philly on Friday (May 21), and the colts and geldings at Pocono Saturday (May 22) for Pennsylvania All-Stars events.

This is the first coming-together for the state-sired fillies, and most of last year’s top-rated misses will be on hand along with one noted newcomer: Bella Bellini. Bella Bellini is in probably the toughest of the three Sires Stakes divisions, Race 8, but she’s ready for her test as she comes in off of three victories in 1:54 or better for driver Dexter Dunn and trainer "Nifty" Norman. There is no shortage of talented challengers, including Love Muffin, coming off a 1:53 qualifier at The Meadowlands; Flawless Country, last year’s Sire Stakes champion; and Lady Chaos, the Breeders Crown champion for this group in 2020.

The first division, Race 4, finds Canadian champion Donna Sporano making her first start of 2021 for trainer Luc Blais and driver Bob McClure. Last year, Donna Soprano won five of seven starts and missed only three-quarters of a length to the colt Venerate in the Mohawk Million.

The sixth-race section finds Anoka Hanover, the Dan Patch award winner in this category last year while victorious in 10 of 14 starts including the Goldsmith Maid, making her first start of the year after two qualifying victories for driver Todd McCarthy and trainer Noel Daley.

On Saturday afternoon at Pocono, there are three division of the males’ All-Star event on the racing program, falling in Race 5, 8, and 10. Among the fast sophomores gathered are Whiskey Blu, the co-winningest trotter in all of North America this year, and by far the top three-year-old, with nine victories; Top Me Off, the Weiss Series “sweeper” who is tied for second among trotting three-year-olds with five 2021 victories; last year’s Matron winner Type A; and Inaminute Hanover, who’s won his last three starts and comes from the connections who brought out 2019 Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade (and filly Donna Soprano, mentioned above).

The Friday action at Philly, which begins at 12:25 p.m. (EDT), is supplemented by five divisions of Stallion Series competition for the fillies. On the 12:30 p.m. (EDT) Saturday card at Pocono, there are a pair of $15,700 events, one on each gait, for the older fast-class set. Programs for all Philly and Pocono races can be found at the PHHA website.

(PHHA / Pocono / Harrah's Philadelphia)

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