It’s less than a month away from the Hambletonian Oaks, raced on that big card in New Jersey, and the connections of last year’s Oaks winner Fashion Schooner – trainer Jim Campbell, owner Fashion Farms LLC and driver Tim Tetrick – have a three-year-old trotting filly peaking at an opportune time in Fashion Annie, who won one of a pair of $69,848 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes third preliminaries at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon (July 9) in a track-record 1:52.1.
Fashion Annie raced mid-pack through fractions of :26.3 and :55.2, then was out and moving uncovered down the backstretch to the 1:23.4 three-quarters. The daughter of Donato Hanover went to the lead nearing the stretch and maintained an advantage of 1-3/4 lengths over Cando Volo, the horse on her back, while knocking two-fifths off the local standard previously shared by Whose Blues and Anoka Hanover.
In the other division, the International Moni miss Railee Something, who had been second behind Bond in her last pair, showed her appreciation for the absence of that rival by winning in 1:52.4. Railee Something moved after the :27.2 quarter set by Heaven Hanover, got the lead and the middle fractions in :56 and 1:24.2, then had to be sharp to withstand Heaven Hanover’s late charge by a neck. Railee Something now has won two Sire Stakes preliminaries and had the two seconds to Bond in her four starts for the Ron Burke barn, with Yannick Gingras guiding her for owner Ronald Mersky.
International Moni notched another stakes credit when Tipsy Moni won the fastest of three $20,000 Stallion Series divisions in a new mark of 1:53.2. Jim Marohn Jr. went uncovered with the sophomore and trotted a :26.4 third quarter to go by easily, winning in hand for trainer-owner D.R. Ackerman.
Becoming a two-time Stallion Series winner was another filly taking a new mark, the Bar Hopping miss Piano Bar, who trotted home in :57 to reduce her standard to 1:55.2 for driver Dexter Dunn, trainer Åke Svanstedt and the partnership of Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband.
Also sporting a new speed badge is the Father Patrick filly Over Board, rallying up the inside to defeat Lady Lira by a neck in 1:54.3 for driver David Miller, trainer Carter Pinske and the ownership of Pinske Stables Inc. and Lizanne Waples.
In a $16,200 fast-class pace, A Rocknroll Star bounced back to winning form with a powerful 1:49.2 score, also a new mark for the gelded son of A Rocknroll Dance. Andrew McCarthy put up fractions of :26.2, :55 and 1:22 before holding off the pocket-sitter Sporty M Three by 1-3/4 lengths for trainer Robert Cleary and owners Joseph and Vincent Barbera.
All of the winners listed above were the favourites in their respective races. Indeed, the 15-race Philly card yielded an incredible 14 winning favourites, with the “longshot” of the day the trotter B Medithree, who returned a whopping $6.20 – the favoured Senna missed by a half length or there would have been a chalk sweep.
The current schedule at Harrah’s is Wednesday through Friday at 12:25 p.m. (EDT) and Sunday at 12:40 p.m.; the stakes two-year-olds will make their 2023 bow locally on Friday, July 14 in trotting colt action.
(PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia)