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Stallion Series Repeat For 'Marvelous'
There had been eighteen divisions of preliminaries in the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for two-year-old pacing fillies – five in the first round at The Meadows, seven in the second round at Philly, and six Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono – and eighteen different winners, before the seventh and final third round prelim stepped onto the track.
And “nineteen” proved the magic number, because that last heat yielded the first repeat winner and the point leader through three rounds – even if her name is sorta spelled wrong.
Shes So Marvelous, a daughter of Delmarvalous (“DELMARVA” = DELaware, MARyland, VirginiA, the legendary “Eastern Shore” that has produced champions from Adios Harry to Wiggle It Jiggleit), won for the second time in Stallion Series action, here equaling the 1:55.2 lifetime mark she first took in winning a Stallion Series event at The Meadows.
The filly quarter-moved past Traceuse Hanover after the :27.4 opener, got a cheap :59.2 middle half, then sprinted home in :28.1 to defeat the pocket sitter by 1-1/4 lengths for most of Team “Wiggle” – driver Montrell Teague, trainer Clyde Francis, and owner George Teague Jr Inc, who co-owns Shes So Marvelous with K&R Racing LLC.
The main reason there were no other repeat winners stems largely from the fact that five of the seven winners broke their maidens in triumphing Monday night.
The only other non-maiden winner (and in an overnight, although her only other Stallion action was a nose loss) was the Dragon Again filly Pink Gardenias, who like the other winners established a personal speed badge with her 1:54.1 triumph, quarter-moving and winning for owners Crawford Farms Racing and a trainer/driver pairing that had some slight recognition factor with Pocono fans: Chris Oakes and George Napolitano, Jr.
If any one race looked like it might have a repeat Stallion Series winner it would have been the third, the first stakes contest of the night, with three previous winners going to the gate – so in a field of five, it was the two non-winners who were in the photo for win, as the Western Terror filly Freakonomics, 2-3 in her previous Stallion Series races, who came from last at the half, storming up the Pocono Pike to win by a head over potential pocket rocket Ella Christina, with the time of 1:53.1 lasting through the evening as the fastest winning clocking among the babies. “George Nap” also had sulky duty here for trainer Ross Croghan and the ownership of Let It Ride Stables Inc and Dana Parham.
Sire Somebeachsomewhere sired three of the evening’s stakes winners, including a first-time starter, 19-1 shot V String, who at the half had only a breaker beaten, but rallied for a head tally over 32-1 shot Cruiseninstride in 1:54.4, pacing her own last half in :56.1. Andrew McCarthy drove the undefeated filly for trainer Noel Daley and the partnership of The OK Corral and Dr. Andrew Roberts.
The other winning daughters of Somebeachsomewhere were both trained by Ron Burke.
One was the “enigma” of the division, Emily R Hanover, who in her first charted line at Gaitway came a middle half in :53.2 (a two-year-old on June 6!), then further prepped with a :26.3 last quarter baby outing – and then once at the races finished back on a sloppy track and followed up with two breaks. But she won here in 1:54.3, last half in :55.4, for driver Keith Kamann (his first sulky victory since September of 2013), just a tick behind the winning time posted by stablemate Beach Club, guided by Matt Kakaley, a race earlier. Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC own shares of both mares; their partners are Jason Melillo and Lawrence Karr on Beach Club, and Michelle Yanek and W.J. Donovan on Emily R Hanover.
The final winner was Love Love Me Do, an aptly-named daughter of Rocknroll Hanover who “stole” a :59.3 half under the guidance of Marcus Miller, then jetted home in :56 to keep rallying Gemmas Beach Girl a neck behind in 1:55.3. Trainer Erv Miller’s Ervin Miller Stable Inc co-owns Love Love Me Do with Tanah Merah Farms LLC and George Golemes.
(Love Love Me Do reminds one of an overheard conversation between two youngsters: “Do you mean that Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?”)
With the fourth and final preliminary, August 29 at The Meadows, next on the itinerary for this group before the best come back to The Downs for their $40,000 Stallion Series Championship on Monday, September 12, the unofficial divisional point standings after tonight’s racing at Pocono looks like this:
1. Shes So Marvelous, 80; 2.-3. (tie) Bettor Be Steamin and Freakonomics, 75 each; 4. Imadragonlady, 70; 5. Alone Hanover, 65; 6.-7.-8. (tie) Gemmas Beach Gal, Love Love Me Do, and Pink Gardenias, 60 each; 9. Cocktail Time, 58.
And with 35 points for a win and 25 points for a second, and seven other fillies having already amassed 40 or more points, there are only two sure bets for Pittsburgh on the 29th: this list will not look the same afterwards, and there will be some great, competitive racing.