WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 1, 2020 — Unraced at 2, sophomore harness racing filly pacer Party Girl Hill launched her career this year with four straight victories, including two wins in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes. The question: How would she fare when she faced Lyons Sentinel, last year's divisional champion?
The answer: Very well, thanks. The two squared off in Saturday's $107,320at The Meadows, and the brash contender defeated the champ by 1-1/4 lengths in1:49.4 over a sloppy surface. The event was the subfeature on the Adios Day card highlighted by the $375,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids.
To be sure, when she left from post 3, Tom Hill's homebred daughter of Captaintreacherous-Look Cheap had a distinct edge over Lyons Sentinel, who was stuck with post 8. Yet the champ all but erased that advantage by cutting leisurely fractions of 26.2/56.2. Even winning driver Dexter Dunn wasn't sure Party Girl Hill could overcome that.
"I thought after that cheap quarter that it might be a hard task for my filly," Dunn said. "The way she traveled up the back, though, she seemed to have the other one's measure. She kicked away in the straight, doing it pretty easy."
Dunn moved Party Girl Hill without cover from fourth, and she wore down Lyons Sentinel after a protracted duel. Pettycoat Business completed the ticket.
Winning trainer Chris Ryder said he isn't terribly surprised by the strong start this year of Party Girl Hill, who lifted her bankroll to $143,610.
"I expect her to be improving, and she raced like she is," Ryder said. "You can only train them so much at home, but she always felt as good as a horse can feel."
He indicated Party Girl Hill would appear next in another PASS leg.
Saturday’s Adios Day card at The Meadows was rich with supporting stakes that included a pair of Grand Circuit events for freshmen and two Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. Here are the highlights:
$59,088 Arden Downs — 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers
Last week, Southwind Gendry scored with a covered trip. In the Gov. David L. Lawrence, as this stake is known, he needed no help, powering to the point at the quarter for Yannick Gingras and winning in a stake record 1:51.2. That knocked a tick from the mark set by Yankee Bounty in 2014.
“He’s a little bit behind the rest of our colts, but as he figures it out, he’ll be a good colt,” said Ron Burke, who trains the Always B Miki-Gambler’s Passion gelding for Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, Knox Services and J&T Silva-Purnel& Libby. “We knew watching his first qualifier that he’s something special.”
Chase H Hanover was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with Capt Jack Hanover third.
Meanwhile, another Burke youngster, Lou’s Pearlman, continued to look like the real deal, extending his career unbeaten streak to four for Matt Kakaley and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Elizabeth Novak and Howard Taylor. Captain Sleaze was second, beaten 2-1/4 lengths, while Great Somewhere earned show.
The son of Sweet Lou was so full of himself that Kakaley had him under a snug hold even while sending him on a quarter-pole move to the top.
“He has a lot of high speed; he’s impressive,” Kakaley said. “In my mind he’s one of the best 2-year-olds out there. He’s absolutely perfect to drive.”
Hellabalou stopped badly last week, and his trainer Eddie Dennis, thinks he knows why.
“He struggled getting off the track last week, and the vet thought it was the heat,” Dennis said. “Once we got him cooled down, he was much better. He rebounded really good today.”
The son of Sweet Lou-Magestic Blue Chip looked quite comfortable on the point, defeating Sweet Angel Boy by a neck in 1:53 for Andrew McCarthy. Mikibytheseaside completed the ticket. Eric Good campaigns Hellabalou.
$35,690 Arden Downs — 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers
Uptown Hanover recovered quickly from a brief break in the final turn and went on to cross the wire first. But she was disqualified and placed back to eighth for interfering while on that break, giving the win in the Mary Lib Miller to Fighting Evil and driver Mike Wilder in 1:53.2. Wicked Ways was third-placed second while Southwind Olenna was promoted to third.
“Every once in a while, you get lucky,” said winning trainer Dane Snyder. “She raced very good, but she was lost on the front end. She’d never been there before. She’s not very big, and she has a lot to learn, but she has a big heart.”
The daughter of Sweet Lou-Evil Fight races for Danielle Snyder and Jason Ash.
$187,182 PA Sires Stake — 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters
In the faster $93,591 division of this stake known as the Meadow Bright, the Muscle Hill miss Fifty Cent Piece got to ride a pocket trip, then found clearance up the inside and went on to a 1-3/4-length victory over favored and first-over Shishito in a career best 1:52.2 despite the sloppy surface.
Wilder, an hour away from his finest moment in the sport, picked up the catch drive behind the Marcus Melander-trained filly, who had had some rough racing luck in a few recent starts. But the trip worked out fine here for Fifty Cent Piece, a $500,000 yearling who is starting to live up to her pedigree for the S R F Stable.
In the PASS division raced over a fast track, Sans Default brought sire Muscle Hill another credit when she also utilized the Lightning Lane for driver Matt Kakaley to stop the clock in 1:54.1. Sans Defaut, whose name translates to “flawless” from the French, lived up to her moniker for the second race in a row, now showing earnings of $180,185 for trainer Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Crawford Farms Racing, and J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby.
$80,000 PA Stallion Series — 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters
Burke started 25 horses in 12 of the races on the card; in the four $20,000 Stallion Series races, he sent out only one. But there’s little question that she was the most impressive one — the Muscle Hill miss Dune Hill, 9-1/2 lengths clear of her field at the end of a mile (while the track was still fast) in 1:52.4, a new stake mark. Dune Hill made a big uncovered move to the lead for driver Yannick Gingras and drew away at will for her third straight win for owner Joseph Di Scala, Jr.
Two other stallion series winners clicked as the favorite along with Dune Hill. A popular local winner was the Explosive Matter filly Perth Angel De Vie, who took a new mark of 1:55.3 in off going for driver Bryce Brocklehurst, trainer Harold Brocklehurst and the ownership of Double R Farms LLC, David Obley and Richard Williams, who will see PA Fairs racing start a 2-day stand in their hometown of Clearfield tomorrow. The other stallion series chalk was the Donato Hanover filly Alittlebitofsugar, a 1:55.2 winner in the slop for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Sam Schillaci and owner Peter Barbato.
The only non-favorite to visit the winners circle was in the opening race of the day, with the track still fast, when the Father Patrick filly Queso Fresco charged outside on the far turn and finished out taking a new mark of 1:54.3 as the second betting choice. Team Orange Crush — trainer Julie Miller and driver/husband Andy — saw the filly finish second upon acquiring her care in her last start, and she improved on that position by one here for owner Dr. John McKinley.
by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA