Trained by Linda Toscano, Odds On Hail Mary ($7.80) stalked a fast early pace before unleashing an explosive kick late in a 1:48.2 mile, breaking the world record for three-year-old pacing fillies on a five-eighths-mile track, in her $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (PASS) divisional championship on Sunday, Sept. 3 at Harrah's Philadelphia.
Scott Zeron kept Odds On Hail Mary reserved in the pocket while Beach Cowgirl (Joe Bongiorno) carved out early fractions of :25.4 and :54. With three-eighths to go, Zeron angled the Heston Blue Chip-Mach Some Noise filly out of the pocket to avoid being boxed by an advancing Hungry For Love (Todd McCarthy) on approach to the far turn and she threw down a :26.2 backside blitz before opening 2-1/2 lengths on the field turning for home. With Always B Naughty (Dunn) emerging off cover to give chase, Zeron kept Odds On Hail Mary to task through the stretch en route to a 1-1/4-length victory. Hungry For Love finished third.
Toscano trains Odds On Hail Mary, a six-time winner with $273,243 in career earnings, for Odds On Racing.
After reeling off wins in the Milstein Memorial and the last PASS preliminary, Seven Colors delivered a powerful punch in the $252,000 championship for three-year-old male pacers, defeating Pepsi North America Cup winner Its My Show in 1:48.1 and tying his own divisional track record, which he shares with A Rocknroll Dance.
Driver Dexter Dunn took a three-hole tuck with Seven Colors to stalk Linda Toscano stablemates Its My Show (Scott Zeron) and Fulton (Andy McCarthy) through a :27 first quarter before brushing to control with a lap to go. Following a :54.3 half, Seven Colors was forced to pick up the pace on the backstretch by the first-over Ken Hanover (David Miller), who emerged from fourth and pushed a 1:21.4 three-quarters before working to within three-quarters of a length of the lead midway on the final turn. The Stay Hungry-Rainbowinthedark colt shrugged off his outside rival easily, edging away in upper stretch with :26.2 closing speed and winning by 1-3/4 lengths while well in hand. Its My Show protected second off his pocket ride while Fulton finished third, another three lengths behind.
“He’s a good horse; he’s on top of his game,” said Dunn. “I asked him coming off the top of the straight and the last eighth he was good. He was doing it pretty comfortably.”
Now three-for-three for his current connections -- owner/trainer Andrew Harris and co-owners William Pollock and Bruce Areman -- Seven Colors has won eight of 20 races in his career and has banked just shy of $500,000. He paid $3.80 to win.
French Wine ($2.20) shaved two-fifths of a second off Googoo Gaagaa‘s 12-year-old divisional track record with a 1:51.4 score in the PASS final for three-year-old male trotters.
Andy Miller perched the Bar Hopping-Creamy Mimi colt second-over behind the live cover of Once In A Lifetime (Tim Tetrick) with seven-sixteenths to go and the pair were towed to within two lengths of leader Khaosan Road (Scott Zeron) at three-quarters in 1:23.2. French Wine swung three-wide off the corner for home and found his best stride in the final sixteenth, collaring Khaosan Road with 70 yards to go and drawing two lengths clear. Once In A Lifetime, who levelled off after being overtaken in mid-stretch, finished third.
“I felt like they were getting cheaper fractions that I would have liked, but Andy forced Timmy [Tetrick] to move on [with Once In A Lifetime]," said French Wine’s trainer, Julie Miller. “Coming off the last turn, I felt like Andy waited for them to straighten down the stretch and he exploded like he was supposed to. It seems like he’s peaking right now.”
Now a seven-time winner with close to $700,000 in lifetime earnings, French Wine races for the Andy Miller Stable, Daniel & Jean-Christophe Plouffe, and One Legend Stable.
Railee Something ($4) rounded out the quartet of PASS champions crowned on Sunday with a gritty 1:53 win in the three-year-old filly trot.
After using a :26.4 first quarter to clear Angelpedia, Railee Something and driver Yannick Gingras stole a :55.3 half before then digging in through the far turn to repel a sustained challenge from Hambletonian Oaks winner Heaven Hanover (Tetrick) and subsequently stave off an inside challenge from runner-up Fashion Annie (Andy McCarthy) by a neck. Sheer Faith (Dunn) rallied from third-over to finish third.
Ron Burke trains Railee Something, an International Moni-Railee Priti filly with 12 career wins and a bankroll of $507,136, for owner/breeder Ronald Mersky.
A quartet of $50,000 PASS consolations for three-year-olds led the undercard and were won by trotting gelding Sinatra De Vie ($5.40, Johnathan Ahle, 1:54.3) for trainer Eric Foster, pacing filly Southwind Icenfire ($2.80, Gingras, 1:51.3) for Kevin Lare, trotting filly Bella Macchiato ($7.40, Dunn, 1:53.2) for Nancy Takter and pacing gelding Brue Hanover ($2.80, Gingras, 1:49.4) for the Burke stable.
(With files from USTA)