Chester, PA — The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Stallion Series programs make their 2020 debuts on Wednesday (July 1) and Thursday (July 2) at Harrah’s Philadelphia, with more than $600,000 on the line as 2-year-old pacers lead off the action with the fillies on Wednesday and the colts and geldings on Thursday.
In Wednesday’s filly racing, three of the freshmen have already achieved sub-1:55 marks in qualifying action, including the pair drawing innermost in the race seven division. The Betting-Line–Darena Hanover miss Darby Hanover won at The Meadowlands in 1:54, with a sizzling :26.2 last quarter; she’ll start from the rail for trainer Julie and driver Andy Miller. Right next to her will be the Always B Miki–Western Silk filly Grace Hill, who ships to Philadelphia after a 1:54.4 win at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Dexter Dunn will handle the driving assignment behind her for trainer Nifty Norman.
The other sub-1:55 filly, Blue Diamond Eyes, begins from the rail in race six for trainer Ron Burke, who has nine fillies in the four divisions of the Sires Stakes — three in this section and two in the others. Blue Diamond Eyes, a daughter of Captaintreacherous–Aria Hanover, won at Gaitway Farm in 1:54.3. Yannick Gingras has the sulky assignment Wednesday.
Burke has seven entrants in Thursday’s action for males and has the fastest winner to date in the Sweet Lou–Lucy’s Pearl colt Lou’s Pearlman, who defeated his stablemate Fulsome (Betting Line–Triple V Hanover) by 1-3/4 lengths in a Gaitway qualifier in 1:54. The post position draw was not kind to the Burke Brigade duo as Lou’s Pearlman must start from the outside in the seventh race division field of seven, with Fulsome only one notch to his left on the starting gate.
This seventh race Sires cut may prove to be the toughest of the four sections for colts, as also in the field are Captains Place (Captaintreacherous–Dream Outloud), winner of three straight qualifiers at Eldorado Scioto Downs; Billy Clyde (Always B Miki–Jan It Jackson), perfect in two lines including a 1:55.4 win in a purse start at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pcoono; and Crunch Hanover (Captaintreacherous–Code One Hanover), who won both his preps for this contest.
There will be four Sire Stakes and four Stallion Series races for the fillies on Wednesday; Thursday will have four Sires contests and six Stallion Series races.
The cream of the Pennsylvania breeding ranks are certainly represented in these first stakes of the season, with no fewer than 22 of the freshmen over the two days bringing $100,000 or more as a yearling last fall, in addition to several attractive homebreds.
Racing will start at Harrah’s Philadelphia at 12:25 p.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday.