Washington, PA — Unraced at two, sophomore filly pacer Party Girl Hill launched her career this year with four straight victories, including two wins in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes. The question: How would she fare when she faced the likes of Lyons Sentinel, last year’s divisional champion?
The answer: Very well, thanks. The two squared off in Saturday’s $107,320 Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo at The Meadows, and the brash contender defeated the champ by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:49.4 over a sloppy surface. The event was the subfeature on the Adios Day card highlighted by the $375,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids.
To be sure, when she left from post three, Tom Hill’s homebred daughter of Captaintreacherous-Look Cheap had a distinct edge over Lyons Sentinel (Tim Tetrick), who was stuck with post eight. Yet the champ all but erased that advantage by cutting leisurely fractions of 26.2/56.2. Even winning driver Dexter Dunn wasn’t sure Party Girl Hill could overcome that.
“I thought after that cheap quarter that it might be a hard task for my filly,” Dunn said. “The way she traveled up the back, though, she seemed to have the other one’s measure. She kicked away in the straight, doing it pretty easy.”
Dunn moved Party Girl Hill without cover from fourth, and she wore down Lyons Sentinel after a protracted duel. Pettycoat Business (Scott Zeron) completed the ticket.
Winning trainer Chris Ryder said he isn’t terribly surprised by the strong start this year of Party Girl Hill, who lifted her bankroll to $143,610.
“I expect her to be improving, and she raced like she is,” Ryder said. “You can only train them so much at home, but she always felt as good as a horse can feel.”
He indicated Party Girl Hill would appear next in another PASS leg.