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First-time starters sweep Meadows PASS
Tuesday, July 03, 2018 - by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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Washington, PA --- Tuesday’s (July 3) $190,235 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at The Meadows turned out to be a showcase for first-time starters. All five divisions in the event for freshman trotting fillies, known as the Meadow Gladys, went to youngsters making their career debuts.

The talented quintet included Fate Smiled, Sonnet Grace, Darla P, Magical Beliefs and Personal Paradise. Åke Svanstedt enjoyed a training and driving double with Darla P and Personal Paradise.

Chris Gooden photo
Fate Smiled (foreground) was fastest of all in Tuesday's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies at The Meadows.
Fate Smiled captured top honors when she fronted the mile and dug in late to hold off Windy Corner by a head in 1:58. The first-over Something Spicy was third.

“My main concern was to keep her quiet; with her pedigree, they have a tendency to be hot,” said winning driver Dave Palone. “She was a perfect lady. I woke her up at the head of the stretch, but I never really felt any concern.”

Ron Burke trains the daughter of Muscle Massive-For A Dancer for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva, Purnell & Libby and Michelle Yanek.

Sonnet Grace found a seat third after trying for the early lead and had enough in the tank to kick by the leaders with a 28.4 final quarter. She triumphed in 1:58.1, 2-1/2 lengths better than Ladylilli, with early leader Sky Is Mine third.

“I was hoping for another qualifier for her, but I ran out of time when I came up from Florida late,” said Rod Allen, who trains and drives the daughter of Muscle Massive-I Believe for Rod Allen Inc. “But I schooled her and made the changes I had to make. I think I have her set now. She’s a big filly, and I brought her along slow. Hopefully, she’ll be a little more developed at the end of the year.”

Svanstedt said Darla P’s talent always has impressed him, but it’s something else that sets the daughter of Muscle Hill-Wilsonator apart.

“She trained down well, but some horses are nervous about racing,” he said. “She’s always been focused — before the race and during the race. “

She demonstrated that focus in the Meadow Gladys when she sprang from the pocket at the top of the lane and overpowered Ma Was Right to defeat her by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:58.1. Bushy Tails completed the ticket. The Pozefskys — Michael, Harry and David — own Darla P, who likely will race primarily in Pennsylvania but is eligible to some rich year-end stakes.

After a holiday break, live racing at The Meadows resumes with a special Thursday (July 5) card that features a $60,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event for freshman pacing fillies. First post is 1:05 p.m.

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