Phaelean Lucky, Smiling Angel and Dynamic Dream were second round come-from-behind winners of the Newcomers Series for fillies and mares Thursday night at Maywood Park and were assured starting berths in next week's final.
Phaelan Lucky raced fourth much of the way for Marcus Miller who was guiding the four-year-old mare for the first time for Altamont, IL owner Pamela Coleman. Mary Gator took the fourth race first division through first half fractions of :29.4 and 1:00.3 before she was overpowered by a strong move from the 49-1 longshot Not So Slim (Tyler Buter) right after the 1:31.2 third-quarter pole.
However, Miller maneuvered Phaelan Lucky into striking position for the stretch drive and the daughter ofcame on with a rush in the lane to post a neck victory over Sports Twister (Sam Widger) in 2:01.1. Not So Slim took the show spot.
Phaelan Lucky, the 5-2 morning line favorite, ended up as the 9-2 third choice bowing for the Erv Miller Stable and paid $11.
"She raced really well and she did get a nice trip," said winning driver Marcus Miller. "She'll be even better for next week's (February 11) final at Balmoral because of the trip tonight since she got up late and passed up horses."
Sent off as the heavy 1-2 favorite with the pole position, Smiling Angel ($3.00) was given a perfect second over trip by driver Brandon Simpson and the four-year-old mare responded with a big burst in the lane and pulled away for a five-length triumph in 1:59.4. Polly-Gram (Tyler Buter) was second-best, finishing more than one-length ahead of the third place finisher Invitation To Play (Sam Widger) in the second series split.
"I didn't want to see her get beat up coming out hard of there," said Simpson. "Smiling Angel doesn't have a lot of experience. I knew there was a lot of ‘leavers' so the race worked out well for us."
It was the second straight series victory for Smiling Angel, a daughter ofowned by Richard Weaver of Shelbyville, IN.
The most impressive series win of the night belonged to Lyle Scurlock's Dynamic Dream, also driven by Simpson. Despite being saddled with the seven-slot, theoffspring was hammered down to even-money after winning an opening series leg with Brandon at Balmoral Park from the outside 10-slot in 1:55.4 on very cold night with the temperature close to zero.
Simpson left with Dynamic Dream ($4.00), who dropped into the four-hole in the sixth race third division. The rail horse Fox Valley Mecca (Tyler Buter) worked hard in the early going to get command and put Cammi Place (Pat Curtin) in the pocket. Simpson came out with his horse soon after a :28.2 first panel and raced first up alongside the pacesetter who went to a :59.1 half. Dynamic Dream got almost a length lead, still on the outside, at the 1:29.1 three-quarter marker and once she came out of the last turn, went into another gear and pulled away for a seven-length victory in 1:59.1 with more in the tank.
"This was a big mile for her," said Simpson. I was afraid to clear (the leader) too early because I didn't know if she would realize that she had to go on but she did and she did it easy."
Mike Paradise, director of publicity