Niki Hill, Lyons Sentinel qualify in Philadelphia

Chester, PA — The 3-year-old pacing filly Niki Hill, last year’s divisional champion, was a strong-finishing winner in her qualifier on Tuesday morning (May 10) at Harrah’s Philadelphia, with two-time divisional champion Lyons Sentinel a rapidly-closing second in her first trip behind the starting gate this year in another qualifier.

The Always B Miki filly Niki Hill had cut the mile in her first seasonal qualifier, only to be caught by a half-length by Treacherous Dragon, who went on to win her 2022 purse debut at Pocono this past Sunday.

In this event, Niki Hill was taken back to fifth in a six-horse field by driver Dexter Dunn, who unleashed her going down the backstretch and covered the last half in :55.1-:26.4 to complete a 1:54.3 victory in heavy winds. The winner of $904,557 has been brought to readiness by trainer Chris Ryder for owner Tom Hill.

Lyons Sentinel, top older mare of last year and a winner of $2,003,594, paced her first quarter in :30.2 in getting away third in her qualifier — and then came her back three-quarters in 1:23.1, with her own last quarter in :27 for driver Tim Tetrick, in finishing 1-3/4 lengths behind Mach Doro A. The race will serve as a useful prep for the Captaintreacherous mare, who is trained by Jim King Jr. for Threelyonsracing.

Team Tetrick/King won on Tuesday with two sophomores who are already quite familiar with Niki Hill from competition last year. The Sweet Lou filly Lyons Serenity tacked on a :27 last quarter in her 1:54.2 engine triumph for Threelyonsracing and the Captaintreacherous miss Captain Cowgirl made every pole a winning one in 1:54.2-:27.3 for owners Jo Ann Looney-King and Kenneth Frieder.

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