Chester, PA — While heavy favorites won two of the three second-round divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies Thursday afternoon (July 15) at Harrah’s Philadelphia, the fastest winner upset the favorite – and she came to the race not only from the Stallion Series, but from a second-place finish in the lower circuit.
The Always B Miki-Gallie Beach filly Hit Me Up was developed by Brian Brown, and it was for his barn that she was second, beaten only a neck, by Lyons Serenity, in a first-round Stallion Series contest. In sending her east to race for trainer Jenn Bongiorno, her connections, including owner Joshua Graber, decided to try her against Sire Stakes competition.
The move paid off, as 6-1 shot Hit Me Up and driver Joe Bongiorno got away in the pocket behind Jazzed, the chalk off a Sire Stakes win in the first leg, and stalked the pacesetter through fractions of :27.3, :56, and 1:24.2. Hit Me Up closed in :27.2 to catch Jazzed by a length in a lifetime best 1:52.1.
Captain Cowgirl, like Hit Me Up, made the jump from Stallion Series company successfully, registering a 1:52.3 tally. Tim Tetrick moved the daughter of Captaintreacherous and Rideintothesunset past a :27.3 quarter to the lead before the :56.4 half, then went to the three-quarters in 1:24.2 and paced home strongly for her second straight stakes win for trainer Jim King Jr. and owners Jo Ann Looney-King and Kenneth Frieder.
Lake Dora became the only two-time Sire Stakes winner in the division as she dropped two-fifths of a second from her mark to 1:52.3. Quarter-moving after the :27.3 first split, Yannick Gingras got a rest with the Captaintreacherous-Bodacious Hanover filly to a :56.4 half, then tacked on successive quarters of :28 and :27.4 to win comfortably for trainer Nancy Takter and Rojan Stables, Caviart Farms and R A W Equine Stables Inc.
Driver Dexter Dunn accounted for three of the four Stallion Series divisions, winning with Sweet Lou progeny Ainthesamewithoutu (1:53.1) and Showmeyoursweetside (1:55), along with Betting Line filly JK I Feel Fine (1:53.1). Onecrookedleg (1:54.2, Andy McCarthy) completed the quartet of Stallion Series winners.
Racing resumes on Friday (July 16) at 12:25 p.m. The Sire Stakes program is quickly back in gear for 2-year-old colts during the two cards after Friday: pacers highlight the Sunday (July 18) action starting at 12:40 p.m., while trotters are featured Wednesday (July 21) at 12:25 p.m. Program pages for all these cards will be available on the PHHA website.