Stake record highlights Adios Betty Pace

by Jeff Zidek

Despite windy conditions, a new stake record highlighted five divisions of the Adios Betty Pace for Pennsylvania sired 3-year-old fillies at The Meadows on Saturday.
The day started with a wire-to-wire win from Dragonfest, a Dragon Again filly driven to victory by Mike Wilder. The John Butenschoen-trainee reeled off an opening quarter of 26.4. The filly then got a breather, posting a 30-second quarter to reach the half in 56.4. The break was more than enough for her, as she reached the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3 before finishing the mile in 1:54.
“I was a little worried at the quarter, getting there so fast,” said Wilder. “The owners said she was versatile, but they wanted me to go forward with her and I can’t say enough about how she responded. She’s just like driving a car.”
Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, Zilli, and Baron own Dragonfest, who held off HL Showbiz and Pembroke Lil.
In the second division, patience paid off for driver Dave Palone. Up Front Bethann, a top performer from last season, was making her season debut, and let the dust settle early. Palone let her sit fourth as Sayo Hanover (Randy Tharps) cut fractions of 26.3 and 55.4. As the field passed the half, Palone moved his Dragon Again filly to the outside and she swept right to the lead, reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:23.3. Up Front Bethann easily held off See And Be Seen (Wilder) and Saymynamesaymyname (Richard Stillings) in 1:53.1.
“She had a tendency to get hot last year,” said Palone. “She minded her manners today and was really calm. She sat in the pocket nicely and I was really pleased with her.”
Ed Mullinax owns the winner, while Kelly O’Donnell earned the training victory.
The third split brought an upset local winner, as 9-1 shot Lucy B scored for trainer Patrick Medors and driver Aaron Merriman. Lucy B, making her initial start on lasix, used a power move after sitting mid-pack through fractions of 26.4 and 55.3, taking the lead down the backstretch and opening up a large lead. She paced the third quarter in 27.3, reaching the marker in 1:23.1 before holding on for a 1:53.3 win over An Original (Ray Paver) and Color My World (Kyle Bolon).
Beulah Bigley of Clarksville, PA bred and owns Lucy B, a filly sired by Whelan Willie. For driver Merriman, it was his first Meadows stake win.
The fourth group was the fastest of the day, as Thong, a Western Hanover filly went wire-to-wire in a stake record time of 1:52.1 for Palone. “I knew she was a good filly,” said Palone. “I spent some time chasing her on the Grand Circuit last year, and this season she just got nipped at Freehold, so I wanted to give her a shot. That was an unbelievable mile with the wind.”
Jerry Silva and the North State Street Stable own the winner, who is trained by Kevin Lare. Pavla Hanover (Wilder) finished second, ahead of Real Nasty Miss (Stillings).
The final Adios Betty division was won by Don’t Deny Me, driven by Brian Zendt for trainer Ken Rucker. After taking a seat third to the opening quarter in 27 seconds, Zendt moved the Allamerican Ingot filly to the outside, taking the lead before the half in 56.2 then going on to reach the three-quarters in 1:23.4 and the finish line in 1:54.
Rucker Stable, Inc. owns the winner, who beat Riven Hanover (Wilder) and Twin Oaks Tess (Tony Hall) to the wire.
Dave Palone led the way on the 15-race card, posting seven victories for the afternoon.

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