Chester, PA — Party Girl Hill ($2.40) looked every bit the part of a divisional champion on Sunday (Sept. 6) at Harrah’s Philadelphia, keeping her undefeated record intact with a decisive 1:48.4 score in the $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final for sophomore pacing fillies.
Just eight days removed from her 1:49.2 victory in the Fan Hanover at Woodbine Mohawk Park, the daughter of Captaintreacherous once again asserted her superiority — and in almost identical fashion to her recent Grand Circuit triumph. Dexter Dunn floated Party Girl Hill forward from her pole position, but allowed Rocknificent (Scott Zeron) and New Year (George Napolitano Jr.) to dispute a :26.4 first quarter before brushing from third to clear command with just over a lap to go. After rating a :55.1 half, Party Girl Hill braced for a first-over challenge from JK First Lady (Andy McCarthy), who steadily advanced from fourth up the far side to force a :26.4 third sectional.
Party Girl Hill’s lead slipped to a length off the home turn, but she responded with a :26.4 quarter of her own, sprinting off at first asking before being taken in hand in the final yards of her 2-1/2 length victory. JK First Lady was a clear second, 2-1/4 lengths ahead of tiring pocket rival Rocknificent.
Chris Ryder trains Party Girl Hill, whose 1:48.4 mile broke the existing track and stakes records for 3-year-old pacing fillies, for owner-breeder Tom Hill. She has won all nine of her career starts and amassed $482,181 in purses.
Party Girl Hill completed a sire stakes hat trick for Dunn, who also captured the $252,000 finals for 3-year-old colts and geldings aboard pacer No Lou Zing ($6.60) and trotter Amigo Volo ($2.80).
No Lou Zing, who only broke maiden on June 20, has since vaulted into the upper echelon of sophomore pacers and proved his place among them with a sharp 1:49.3 effort.
Dunn was reserved early on with the Sweet Lou gelding and remained in midfield while 3-5 favorite Allywag Hanover (Tim Tetrick) brushed from fourth after stalking a :25.4 quarter. Allywag Hanover maintained a spritely pace through middle splits of :53.4 and 1:21.1 and was forced to exert even more into the far turn while Sandbetweenmytoes (Andy McCarthy) encroached on the outside and No Lou Zing stalked from second-over. With just over a furlong remaining, Dunn flipped No Lou Zing three-wide, and he vaulted to the lead in upper stretch before striding two lengths clear. The Greek Freak (Matt Kakaley) saved second from a hard-earned pocket, while Cattlewash (David Miller) narrowly upended Allwag Hanover for third.
Nancy Takter trains five-time winner No Lou Zing for the 3 Brothers Stables, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms.
Amigo Volo lived up to odds-on billing in the 3-year-old male trot, scooting away from EL Ideal’s stern head-stretch challenge by 2-3/4 lengths and delivering a 1:52.3 victory.
Amigo Volo yielded to early speedster EL Ideal (Andy Miller) on the first turn, only for Dunn to angle him out and claim control just beyond a :27.3 first quarter. After stealing a :57.2 half-mile split, the Father Patrick gelding accelerated up the far side, reaching three-quarters in 1:24.4 before EL Ideal again emerged from the pocket. Amigo Volo made easy work of his challenger, sprinting off in upper stretch to record the 10th win of his career. EL Ideal was an isolated second, 5-1/2 lengths better than Patriarch Hanover (Kakaley).
Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman trains Amigo Volo, whose career earnings now stand at $946,719, for the Pinske Stables and David J. Miller.
Dunn’s lone sire stakes defeat came in the $252,000 final for 3-year-old trotting fillies, which saw Ron Burke trainee Crucial ($42.80) and David Miller spring a massive upset in a race that figured to be a showdown between Sister Sledge and Next Level Stuff.
Predictably, Next Level Stuff (Tetrick) assumed early control, but kept early challenger Queen Of The Hill — and Dunn — parked through early splits of :27 and :56 while Crucial established the pocket and 2-5 favorite Sister Sledge (Brian Sears) assumed second-over position. As Queen Of The Hill worsened in the breeze nearing three-quarters in 1:24, Sister Sledge angled three-wide but failed to fire, but Next Level Stuff wasn’t home free. Crucial angled out of the pocket turning for home and lifted clear by 1-1/2 lengths to win in 1:52.4. Sweet Shirley Mae (Andy Miller) and Dip Me Hanover (Scott Zeron) emerged to take second and third respectively over an engulfed Next Level Stuff.
It was the seventh career win for Crucial, who campaigns for the Burke Racing Stable, Bill Donovan, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi.
In addition to his win with Amigo Volo, Norman captured two of the four $50,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes consolations on the card: Annabelle Hanover ($9.40, Dunn) took the 3-year-old filly pace in 1:50.3, and Chestnut Hill ($8.20, David Miller) won the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot in 1:53.2. Sherry Lyns Lady ($10.60, Tetrick) wired her foes in the 3-year-old filly trot in 1:54.4 for trainer Jim Campbell, and Manticore ($2.80, Jordan Stratton) delivered a dynamite 1:49.2 mile in the 3-year-old colt pace consolation for trainer Bruce Saunders.