Day At The Track

Fillies sparkle in All-Stars action at Pocono

10:34 AM 11 Jul 2018 NZST
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Sonnet Grace, harness racing
Sonnet Grace scores the fastest of the All-Star divisions
Curtis Salonick photo

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Two-year-old trotting fillies faced "sloppy" going at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday, racing in five $30,000 divisions of their Pennsylvania All-Stars stake.

The fastest winner was the homebred Sonnet Grace for owner/trainer/driver Rod Allen, and the 1:56.2 clocking despite the off going is certainly "in the pedigree," as the Muscle Massive filly is out of I Believe, an Andover Hall mare out of C R Kay Suzie, possibly the most precocious baby trotting miss of the last 50 years. (Within seven weeks in 1994, C R Kay Suzie trotted world record miles in 1:55.1m, 1:56.1f, and 1:56.3h, records that lasted for respectively 11, 14, and just over 20 years!)

Sonnet Grace, a 1:58.1 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes winner at The Meadows in her previous start, lowered her mark with her All-Stars win, but she had to work hard for it, showing a big acceleration in the Pocono Pike in the last 50 yards to just nose out Rush Lane, who had grinded to the lead earlier in the stretch. The 1:56.2 clocking was not only a divisional season's record for a 5/8-mile track, it also beat the colts' standard of 1:56.4 notched 24 hours ago by Prospect Hill and Fashion Possessed in their All-Stars wins.

Trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras twice combined with daughters of Muscle Hill to begin paying back on hefty yearling prices. First up was The Ice Dutchess, a $320,000 purchase and a full sister to $500G winner Ice Attraction (their dam is The Ice Queen), who controlled the pace and took a half-length victory over first-over Scirocco Donnahill in 1:57.1. The Ice Dutchess had previously recorded a 1:56.4 baby qualifying win at The Meadowlands for the Coyote Wynd Farms.

A bit later, the $480,000 yearling Beautiful Sin (Muscle Hill - Sina) made a beautiful debut, quarter-moving for Gingras and staying strong to the wire to win by 3¼ lengths in 1:58.1. Beautiful Sin had previously notched three straight morning wins at The Meadowlands, fastest in 1:56.2, for the SRF Stable.

Matt Kakaley was able to rally Fate Smiled from the pocket to a head victory in 1:58.4, just catching pacesetting Fraulein Blucher (a Cantab Hall out of one of PA's top Sire Stakes performers ever, Frau Blucher). Fate Smiled is a Muscle Massive filly out of $500G+ winner For A Dancer who had won her previous start in a division of the same Sire Stakes event at The Meadows earlier mentioned in 1:58. Ron Burke trains her for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Michelle Yanek.

Fate Smiled was a 9-5 second choice, and the first three winners listed here were their race's favorites. The upsetter in the All-Stars on Tuesday was 12-1 shot Sabrina Deo, a daughter of Muscle Hill out of the half-million dollar winner Caught My Eye, who moved out from the pocket at headstretch and caught pacesetter Fast Reaction by ¾ of a length in 1:57.3 in her purse bow. Corey Callahan was in the sulky for trainer John Butenschoen and the ownership of Harmony Oaks Racing Stable Inc., Rojan Stables, and Tangie Massie. The winner had been twice second in a.m. outings before this win, and she completed a "grandsire sweep" for Muscles Yankee (Muscle Hill sired three winners and Muscle Massive two).

From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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