The stake, known as the Sand Tart, was conducted over five divisions, with Somstreetsomwhere, Handsoffmycupcake, Sunshine Patriot (Dragon Again-Sunone) and Mistresstothestars (Dragon Again-Sportsmistress) taking the other splits. Eric Ledford (Donna Lee, Somstreetsomwhere) enjoyed a stake double while Sunshine Patriot provided the event’s tote board fireworks, upsetting at 39-1.
Trained by Tony Alagna for Cheap Speed Table and Joe Sbrocco, Donna Lee was an unhurried fourth before Ledford asked her for pace. She wrested the lead from Somwherovrarainbow, the first filly out of 2004 Horse of the Year Rainbow Blue, and defeated her by 1-1/4 lengths. The first-over All Perfect was third.
“She has such a nice mouth on her, all I had to do was pop the plugs,” Ledford said of the daughter of Real Artist-Katies Western. “Tony told me she’s a very, very good one. He said he didn’t know where her bottom would be. She has such a stride on her she could have gone more.”
Handsoffmycupcake got the jump on the field with a powerful uncovered move down the backside and had plenty left to prevail in 1:53.3, back half in 55.3, forDaniel Dube. Novascotia Hanover found late racing room for second, 2 lengths back, with She’salilfireball third.
“Her attitude’s great — she wants to do it,” said Scott DiDomenico, who trains the daughter of Christian Cullen-Love You Forty, a $20,000 yearling acquisition, for JFE Enterprise. “Early on, it didn’t look like she would do quite as well as she has, but she’s really come around. We’ll stick to Pennsylvania with her. She’s not real tall, but with her attitude and good gait, we’ll do a lot of the Pennsylvania races and see where that leads us.”
Somstreetsomwhere had no street, nowhere until Ledford extricated her from her tight spot along the pylons at the top of the stretch.
“Around the far turn I almost got in trouble,” Ledford said. “She had such a hold on me I had her all balled up. She was wanting to go so fast she almost made a couple breaks. I had her all cranked around, so I definitely had to go outside.”
Finally unleashed, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Street Dancer triumphed in 1:53.1 and is now undefeated in three races for trainer Joe Holloway and owners Val D’Or Farms and Ted Gewertz. Champagne Tonight closed well for second, a length in arrears, while Carols Desire completed the ticket.
Ledford and Mike Wilder each drove three winners on the 15-race card.