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Perfect Sting Heads 'Adios Preview'

Published: June 25, 2021 9:41 am ET

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Saturday’s (June 26) $148,332 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old male pacers at The Meadows wasn’t written specifically as a preview for the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids, but it turned out that way.

All nine in the stakes, known as the Tarport Effrat, are eligible for the $400,000 (est.) Adios, which will be contested July 24 and July 31.

Thus, fans will get an early opportunity to consider Adios angles, including this one: can any of the other hopefuls derail Perfect Sting, who enjoyed a dream season at two? Perfect Sting goes from post 7 with David Miller driving for Hall of Fame trainer Joe Holloway and owners Brittany Farms and Val D’Or Farms.

Saturday’s card also features a $60,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event for sophomore colt and gelding pacers. First post is 12:45 p.m.

Perfect Sting was undefeated in 10 starts at two, banked $534,000 and waltzed to the divisional Dan Patch Award. But his road this year has presented a few speed bumps. He suffered his first career loss in the May 16 PASS opener at Pocono. Then he was scratched sick from the May 30 leg at Harrah’s Philadelphia when he spiked a fever.

But Holloway indicates the fever was minor, disappearing without medical intervention.

“He fought it off on his own, and we could have raced him,” Holloway says. “But (owner) George Segal advised to scratch him then and there so we weren’t tempted to race him. We thought we’d err on the side of caution.”

Indeed, the son of Always B Miki and Shebestingin bounced back with a strong performance at The Meadowlands, capturing an overnight in 1:48.1.

Nevertheless, with potential vulnerabilities exposed, they’ll be coming at Perfect Sting in waves — or at least trainer Ron Burke will. Burke sends out the three-headed, uncoupled entry of Southwind Gendry (post 2, Yannick Gingras), Literl Lad Hanover (post 3, Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) and Lou’s Pearlman (Mike Wilder, post 4). The trio can’t be taken lightly; Southwind Gendry’s $672,758 bankroll is the richest in the field.

Although all three Burke charges have drawn inside Perfect Sting, Holloway doesn’t think post position will be a major factor.

“I’d rather have a better draw, but my horse is good enough to get where he has to go. I don’t discuss that with David; that’s his job. But I don’t think he’ll take back to last.”

Nor is Holloway, who conditioned Always B Miki at two and three, any less optimistic about Perfect Sting’s future than he was at the start of the season.

“He has a chance to be the best horse I ever trained,” Holloway says. “People may cite Always B Miki, but he was better as an aged horse that he was at two or three. This horse has a chance to be something really special.”

(Meadows Standardbred Owners Association)

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