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No collar, no problem for Sortie in PASS at Meadows
Saturday, May 20, 2017 - by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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Washington, PA --- They couldn’t collar Sortie in Saturday’s $146.628 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows — literally.

Sortie glides to victory in PASS action at The Meadows on Saturday with a new lifetime mark of 1:53.1.

The Hambletonian hopeful, one of the most promising freshmen of 2016, had been racing with a Cornell Collar to help his breathing. Moments before Saturday’s race, however, trainer Noel Daley was informed that Cornell Collars can’t be used in Pennsylvania and the device had to be removed.

It didn’t seem to bother Sortie, who raced beautifully in his seasonal debut, jogging off to victory for Andrew McCarthy in 1:53.1, fastest this year for a 3-year-old colt on a five-eighths-mile track and a lifetime mark. The event known as the Super Bowl was contested over three divisions, with Andy M and Common Parlance also taking splits.

Daley said he added the Cornell Collar for Sortie, who won a Breeders Crown elimination and finished third in the final, after a vet’s diagnosis.

“They said everything looked good on him, he just had a short epiglottis,” Daley said. “So rather than do surgery, we just put the Cornell Collar on him. I didn’t realize until five minutes before he raced that they’re illegal here. I did an interview the other day where I mentioned the collar — I guess that’s how they knew we used it. I have to watch what I say to you fellas.”

In the Super Bowl, the son of Explosive Matter-Win B moved first-over from third and drew off smartly, downing Giveitgasandgo by 3-1/2 lengths. High Glider was third. McCarthy indicated Sortie did not experience labored or noisy breathing during the race.

Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, Mario Mazza and Sortie Stable campaign Sortie, who pushed his career bankroll to $146,493. Daley indicated Sortie, a $65,000 yearling acquisition, will race primarily in Pennsylvania and New Jersey early in the season.

Andy M pulled the pocket down the backside for Aaron Merriman and quickly put away the leader, Monteverdi. Though he tired late, the son of Andover Hall-All In The Muscles held off Gustavo Fring by a half length in a career-fastest 1:54.1, with Stealth Hanover fourth-placed-third.

“I didn’t want to have to race him that hard,” Merriman said, “But this horse really impressed me today. I never got the plugs out. He was getting a little bit tired late, but he’s supposed to. That’s as fast as he’s ever been by a couple seconds.”

Chris Beaver trains Andy M, who soared over $100,000 in career earnings, for Mark Moger and Albert Delia Jr.

Chris Gooden photos
Andy M broke the $100,000 barrier in earnings with a win in PASS action Saturday afternoon.

Common Parlance performed well in the Pennsylvania Stallion Series at 2, but this was his first shot at the big boys. After grabbing the early lead and enduring a slight shuffle, he poured through the Lightning Lane to score for Mike Wilder in a career-fastest 1:54.4. Brown Bear was second, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Brand New Key completed the ticket.

“We’ll keep going with him in this series,” said Joseph Skowyra, who trains the Crazed-Angevine gelding for Wade Wyatt and Francis DiMondi Jr. “He’s a nice, sound horse, well behaved, and he’s fast.”

In the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, Knocking Around made it three straight when he survived a :26.3 opening panel and triumphed in 1:50, fastest of his career. The first-over Lincoln James raced well for second, three-quarters of a length in arrears, with Dapper Dude third. Jim Pantaleano piloted the 7-year-old Western Terror-So Completely gelding, who now has banked $312,473, for trainer David McNeight Jr. and owner Courtney McNeight.

Tony Hall collected three wins on the 13-race card.

Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday (May 22), when the program features an $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake for sophomore colt and gelding trotters. First post is 1:05 p.m.

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