And then there were nineteen.
There had been six divisions of the first preliminary of Pennsylvania Stallion Series action for two-year-old pacing fillies. After the second prelim, which went in seven divisions, there were no repeat winners — 13 different Stallion Stake winners.
Twelve of that baker’s dozen came to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday to contest the $120,000 third preliminary leg over six divisions.
No previous winner won on Tuesday. And thus there are nineteen different Stallion Series winners after three rounds. Talk about parity!
Only two of Tuesday’s winners were not breaking their maiden, and one of the previous visitors to Victory Lane both was the only favorite in the Stallion Series and also had the fastest time. That would be Western Ideal-Sass Newton miss Newborn Sassy, who followed up on a 1:54 score in a Philly overnight with a 1:53.1 victory here, drawing off by 7 1/2 lengths in a 28.1 kicker for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King Jr. of Team Wakizashi, the latter co-owner with CC Racing LLC.
Tetrick, who had the only Stallion driving double, also won with the other non-maiden who was victorious, the Yankee Cruiser-Noble Marty filly Marty Party Two, who followed up on an earlier 1:55.3 score at Scioto with a quarter-move to triumph in 1:54.4 for trainer Ron Steck, the latter co-owner with Gary Condit and Bruce Soulsby.
Sire Yankee Cruiser got another credit from Shesjustcruising (out of the mare Shes Just Rockin), who made every pole a winning one in 1:53.4 for driver Anthony Napolitano, trainer John Marshall, and owner Susan Marshall.
Somebeachsomewhere also had a siring double, producing Sixoclocksomewhere (out of She’s My Belle), who quarter-moved after a 26.4 opener and won for the first time in 1:55.1 for driver Corey Callahan, trainer Doug Lewis, and ubiquitous owner Howard Taylor, along with East Side Hanover (out of Edra Hanover), who overcame a recent sick scratch in fine style while triumphing in 1:54, back fractions 56 – 27.3, for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Ron Burke, and the combine of Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and Paul Treiber.
The sixth Stallion winner also had the smallest margin of victory — and the biggest price — as the Dragon Again – Ty’s Artist filly Notagain proved most photogenic by a head in 1:55.3, making her 13-1 backers happy, along with driver Howard Parker, trainer Bucky Angle, and owner Richard Mannon.
Nineteen different preliminaries, nineteen different winners. When these fillies meet again next Tuesday afternoon at The Meadows, in their final chance to earn spots in their division’s $40,000 Championship September 10 at Harrah’s Philadelphia, you think the competition just might be spirited?