In four pacing colt sections, two youngsters became the first to win under 1:55 on a five-eighths-mile track this season.
First up was Major Betts, a son of Art Major out of Southwind Johanne. Major Betts, in his debut, rallied from four lengths out at the three-quarters to win in 1:54.4, with back fractions of :55.4–:27.3, for driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Mark Harder, with the latter sharing partnership with Joseph Jannuzzelli and Deena Frost.
That 1:54.4 clocking would be equaled by the Captaintreacherous–All Tucked Up colt All Hands On Deck, who rallied from the pocket with closing speed of :55-:27. Corey Callahan guided the colt, a good-closing third in his first line, for trainer Sam DePinto and owners Shannon DePinto and Peter Rizzi.
The fastest of six races for pacing fillies went in 1:55.2, a time achieved by the American Ideal–Taxi Fare Hanover miss Fashion Hill. A full sister to the developing star Turbo Hill, Fashion Hill rallied to be third in her debut. Here driver Andrew McCarthy put her on the engine to good effect, coming home in :56.4-:27.4 for trainer Robert Cleary and owner/breeder Tom Hill.
Two pacing fillies chalked up their second wins: Bolt Of Beauty, by Bolt The Duer–Natural Luck, who took a new mark of 1:56.1 for driver Marcus Miller and trainer Erv Miller; and So Rude, a daughter of So Surreal–I Am A Snob who was guided to victory in 1:58.3 by driver Tim Tetrick for trainer Scott Di Domenico.
Quickest of the three trotting distaff sections fell to Keystone Candace, who led throughout a 1:59.1 win, coming home in :58.2-:29, to win her second qualifying event and take a new mark. The daughter of Andover Hall–Caitir, whose dam is a half-sister to the $2.5 million-winning Wesgate Crown, reunited driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Scott Di Domenico in the winner’s circle for owners Triple D Stables Inc. and R.B.H. Ventures Inc.
The faster of two qualifying sections for trotting males went to the three-quarter brother of undefeated Millies Possesion, Authentic Fashion, in 2:02, an individual best. The son of Donato Hanover-Fashion Athena, a Fashion Farms-owned homebred, showed the poise of a veteran for driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Jim Campbell, cutting the half, getting passed down the backstretch and being shuffled to fourth, yet still being able to rally with a :29.1 last quarter for a going-away triumph.
Tim Tetrick topped the drivers’ colony with four wins during the session; Scott DiDomenico conditioned three victorious freshmen to lead all trainers.