by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager
Delaware, OH — Dragonfly battled with Pretty N Fast for nearly three-eighths of a mile before prevailing by a neck to win Wednesday’s (Sept. 19) $39,318 Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers in a career-best 1:55.4 at the Delaware County Fair. Hydration finished third.
Pretty N Fast, who started from post four, saw favorite Chasing Madi take the lead from post one on the opening turn, but worked her way to the front in an opening quarter-mile of :27.1. She led the field to the midpoint in :56.2 before getting pressure to her outside from Dragonfly, who was fourth through the first half of the race.
Dragonfly and Pretty N Fast were matching strides at three-quarters, reached in 1:25.3, and exchanged the lead three times in the final quarter-mile. Dragonfly grabbed the lead on the last turn, but dropped back to second in the stretch before rallying for the victory.
Aaron Merriman drove Dragonfly for trainer Chris McGuire, who owns the filly with Brian Carsey and John McGill. Dragonfly, a daughter of Dragon Again out of Win D Won, was bred by Winbak Farm. Her win in the Standardbred was her fourth in a row, giving her four wins in nine races and earnings of $35,535.
“She got a little steppy in the last turn,” Merriman said. “I actually thought she was going to clear and swell up, and I had to grab her up there, but then she paced hard again.
“Chris always has his horses pretty good, so I was very confident when I pulled her to give her a shot.”
Dragonfly, who was 7-1, paid $16.40 to win.
“I had not driven her before,” added Merriman, “but Yannick (Gingras on Pretty N Fast) took us until the half and if you don’t have to go until then with a 2-year-out filly that’s a good thing. If they have the guts and the go, they will get it done. She did and I couldn’t be happier with her.”
— Kim French also contributed to this report