Trainer Chris Ryder, who won the $300,000 Lynch Memorial for sophomore fillies with Stonebridge Soul this past Saturday (June 29) at Pocono Downs, may have a follow-up good one in the Artspeak – Conquer The Beach freshman Winning Words, who took her pari-mutuel debut in 1:54.3. Driver Dexter Dunn sent the filly to the lead, set fractions of :28, :58, and 1:26.2, and withstood the stretch bid of favored first-over Wingding Hanover by a neck for Kenneth Solomon and RBH Ventures Inc.
Driver Yannick Gingras accounted for the other two divisions of the three sections for fillies. His faster winner was Firefly, who scored in 1:55.1 for a new mark. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere – Music City pressed on to the lead in :28.4, got a breather to the :58.3 half, then went to the three-quarters in 1:26.4 and kept a 2-1/2 length margin over pocket-sitting Lola’s Gold for trainer Bruce Saunders and owners Charles and Julie Nash.
In the other section, favored Sporty Juliana went past second choice Soixante Hanover past the :29.1 quarter, put up mid-fractions of :58 and 1:27.1, and was still going along well when she made a break nearing headstretch. Soixante Hanover avoided the breaker, who went to the infield, inherited the lead, and kept it to the wire, taking a 1:57 mark by 1-1/2 lengths ahead of Granny’s Girl. Gingras drove the Somebeachsomewhere – Social Scene filly to the win for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing LLC, William Switala, James Martin, and Joseph Critelli.
The division for males fell to the debuting gelding Western Vacation in 1:54.1. Marcus Miller raced the son of Western Ideal out of Robin Cruiser in the pocket as Sunuma Beach set fractions of :27.4, :57.4, and 1:26.1, then moved him out headstretch and saw him pace by the leader for a half-length victory for trainer Julie Miller and the Pinske Stables.
The meet’s winningest driver, Tim Tetrick, added four more victories to his total on Wednesday.
Shartin N, the No.1 ranked harness horse in North America, returns to the races on Sunday (June 7) at Harrah’s Philadelphia in a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series event for pacing mares. She drew the rail in the field of eight.