To view Lyons Sentinel’s victory in the TVG Distaff, click here.
East Rutherford, NJ — After coming up a half length short of Rocknificent in the Breeders Crown, Threelyonsracing’s Lyons Sentinel ($7.40) no doubt redeemed herself in Saturday night’s (Nov. 20) $175,000 TVG Mares Pace at The Meadowlands, unleashing a long first-over attack en route to a 1:49.1 score and eclipsing $2 million in career earnings in the act.
Tim Tetrick floated the 4-year-old daughter of Captaintreacherous forward from the outside wing of the starting gate, but was forced to tuck in sixth amid a contested pace that saw Peaky Sneaky (Dexter Dunn) protect inside position for the early lead before yielding to Rocknificent just after a :26.1 first quarter. Up the backstretch, Scott Zeron rated Rocknificent through a :54.2 half before Lyons Sentinel began her long uncovered bid on approach to the far turn.
After failing to flush cover out of midfield, Lyons Sentinel switched into another gear with three-eighths to go, accelerating forward to press the pace to three-quarters in 1:22.2 before grinding to the lead in the final 150 yards. Despite Rocknificent’s game effort up the pegs, Lyons Sentinel edged away to win — for the 22nd time in her career — by the better part of a length. Gia’s Surreal (James MacDonald), who stalked the front flight throughout, angled off the pegs in upper stretch and chased stoutly for a narrow second over the game Rocknificent.
“She just came back like the champion she is,” said JoAnn Looney-King, who shares the training duties of Lyons Sentinel with her husband, Jim King Jr. Of the first-over grind, Looney-King continued, “It worked tonight, because she’s just a good horse.”
While the Kings plan for Lyons Sentinel to return to the races as a 5-year-old, they believe that a 10-for-19 campaign in 2021 cements their champion mare as the queen of her division.
“I would be thrilled to get Pacing Mare of the Year,” Looney-King concluded. “I don’t ask too much, but if she’s not the best pacing mare out there, I don’t know who is.”