Chester, PA – The Cantab Hall filly Whose Blues sat a pocket trip behind the favored Sherry Lyns Lady, then caught her rival up the inside to win her $63,462 section of the first leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies Wednesday (July 15) afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia in a divisional track record time of 1:52.3.
Whose Blues and driver Daniel Dube pushed Sherry Lyns Lady past a :27.2 quarter, then yielded to sit the pocket as the leader hit the half in :55.3. Digging in against outside pressure from second choice Creature Of Habit to the 1:24.3 three-quarters and beyond. Dube and his filly made it three to a drive, and after Sherry Lyns Lady got a little rough late, Whose Blues could produce enough kick to defeat the chalk by a half-length, with Creature Of Habit the same margin behind while settling for third.
The 1:52.3 clocking was also an individual best for the winner, now 6-of-11 lifetime. Luc Blais trains the filly for the Determination ownership group.
If the next Sire Stakes division had gone twenty minutes earlier, its 1:52.4 time would have set a Philly standard. But it wouldn’t have been 2019 Sire Stakes champion Sister Sledge who would have gotten the ink – it would have been another pocket rocket, the Muscle Hill filly Solsbury Hill, who bettered her own previous best by over two seconds. The scenario in the two races were similar, except this one was basically a two-horse battle. Solsbury Hill went to the lead in a :28.2 opener, let favorite Sister Sledge complete a quarter-move which carried her past the half in :57.1 and 1:25.1, then came out and just got by her game rival by a neck.
Scott Zeron had the sulky duty behind the $46.20 “second choice” for trainer/father Rick, with the latter’s Rick Zeron Stables sharing ownership with Howard Taylor, the Rojan Stables, and William Donovan.
A pair of even-money shots clashed in the other division, with slight favorite Next Level Stuff equaling her lifetime best of 1:53.2. The daughter of Sebastian K S, driven by Tim Tetrick for trainer Jim Campbell and the Runthetable Stables, pressed on past a :28 opener to get around main rival Crucial in front of the stands, and was able to provide the goods from there, hitting the next two poles in :56.1 and 1:25.1 before turning back a stretch challenge by Crucial by 1½ lengths.
Next Level Stuff has now won 9 of 13 lifetime starts, including seven in a row spanning her freshman and sophomore seasons, and has bankrolled $210,786. For Tetrick, the filly was one of five winners on the program.
There were six $20,000 divisions of Stallion Series action raced Wednesday afternoon. Three of them were won by daughters of Muscle Hill, including the two fastest: Hannah, who was very impressive setting the pace and taking a new mark of 1:53.3 for driver Andy Miller, trainer/wife Julie, and the partnership of Andy Miller Stable Inc., Dumain Haven Farm, and Little E LLC; and Dune Hill, who went a tick slower in being a pocket rocket for driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Ron Burke, and owner Joseph Di Scala Jr.
The third of the Muscle Hills was Tuscany, who is undefeated in two lifetime starts after a 1:55.1 romp for driver George Brennan, trainer Nik Drennan, and the ownership package of Joseph Davino, Brad Shackman, and Drennan Stable LLC.
A Father Patrick filly winning in impressive fashion was Impressive Fashion, whom Dexter Dunn drove to a 1:54.4 score for trainer Jim Campbell and Fashion Farms LLC. Impressive Fashion was the only StS winner who was not favored – she was the 6-5 second choice.
Tim Tetrick added a Stallion Series success onto his big day when he brought the Muscle Massive filly Miss McKee to a 1:54.1 success, reducing her lifetime mark for trainer Jack Baggitt Jr. and J L Sadowsky LLC.
Finally, trainer Susan Callihan pushed her lifetime UTR to .667 – two wins in three starts – when the Donato Hanover Aunt Bee went to the lead in front of the stands and lowered her mark a tick to 1:56.3. Wilbur Yoder was in the sulky; Susan Callihan and Gregory Callihan are the owners of the winner of three straight.