Day At The Track

Unbeaten Sister Sledge posts sixth straight win

12:52 PM 29 Aug 2019 NZST
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Sister Sledge, harness racing Next Level Stuff, harness racing
Sister Sledge and driver Yannick Gringras setting stakes record
Chris Gooden photo
Next Level Stuff and driver Tim Tetrick
Chris Gooden photo

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 28, 2019 -- Sister Sledge did it all in Wednesday's $180.502 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for harness racing freshman filly trotters at The Meadows. She extended her career unbeaten streak to six, completed a sweep of PASS preliminary legs and triumphed in a stake-record 1:54.1. In the other division of the Delmonica Hanover, as the stake is known, 11-1 Shishito rallied from well back to spring the upset.

Throughout her streak, no rival had been closer than a length to Sister Sledge at the finish. That was the case Wednesday as well, as she forged to the lead from the rail for Yannick Gingras and defeated the first-over Sorella by 2-1/2 lengths, with Aperfectcrystal third.

"She has a crazy amount of speed; she hasn't been tired yet," Gingras said. "Today I actually was hoping a couple would leave and we could race her from behind. But nobody left, so she took things in hand."

The time erased the stake record of 1:55 established by Can't I in 2016. The daughter of Father Patrick-Behindclosedoors now has banked $138,563 for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Jason Melillo, J&T Silva-Purnell&Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

Sister Sledge figures to be the heavy favorite in the $250,000 PASS championship, which is set for Sept. 8 at Harrah's Philadelphia.

Shishito was away sixth for Aaron Merriman and trailed by 7-1/2 lengths at the half before picking up live cover and beginning her advance. She edged Sans Defaut by a head in a career-best 1:55.1 while Sherry Lyns Lady earned show.

"She's been good every race so far," said Per Engblom, who conditions the daughter of Father Patrick-Yoga for Black Horse Racing and John Fielding. "I think she's a very nice filly. She's pretty much fully staked after this."

Engblom noted that Shishito is dually eligible in Pennsylvania and Kentucky and appears to have earned a berth in each state's sires stake championship.

$60,000 PA Stallion Series -- 2-Year-Old Filly Trotters

Wednesday's subfeature became a showcase for Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim Campbell, who teamed for a double with Next Level Stuff and Madame Sherry. Miss Wilia took the third split.

Next Level Stuff vaulted to the front from post 7 and never let the pocket-sitting Perth Angel De Vie get close, downing her by 3-1/4 lengths in a stake-fastest 1:56. Andela completed the ticket.

"We had hopples on and off her, and we ended up taking them off," Campbell said of the daughter of Sebastian K-Nantab, who overcame mid-season gaiting issues to win two consecutive stallion series splits. "She does have a nice way of going. Hopefully, she'll mature a little bit more."

Miss Wilia also scored her second straight stallion series victory by moving first up for Dave Palone and defeating Keystone Candace by 4-3/4 lengths in 1:57.1. Early leader Path Of Totality saved show. Rick Zeron trains the daughter of Andover Hall-Miss Athens for owners/breeders Charles Receski and Thomas Brice.

"Rick called me this morning and advised me to be careful getting her away," Palone said. "She sat in nice and comfortable. When I moved her, she marched right up to the leader; from the middle of the last turn, I never thought anybody would get her."

Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the card features a carryover of $1,100.72 in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post 1:05 PM.

By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

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