Continuing a late summer run that has vaulted her to the top of the three-year-old filly pacing division here in Illinois, Horsemans Financial Agency & Premier Racing's Party Hangover gutted out a hard fought one and a quarter length victory in 1:52.1 to take the $159,000 Grandma Ann Stake.
Sent to the front just after the quarter driver John De Long found himself in a tough battle with the pace setting Fox Valley Hermia as those two fillies rolled through splits of 27.3 & 54.4.
"I was a little worried at that point because we were working awfully hard to try and get to the front," said a relieved De Long in the winner's circle. "At that point I wasn't sure how she was going to hold up when push came to shove later in the race."
After opening up a 1 ¾ length advantage as the field turned for home Party Hangover was all out to keep her rivals at bay. Showing dogged determination, the daughter of Party At-Maura Hanover was able to keep those foes at bay though, scoring for the seventh time in 18 starts this year and giving the father-son team of John & Jesse De Long their first Super Night driving and training victories. No Respect (Todd Warren) was a game second while Sleazy Does It (Marcus Miller) was third.
In an emotional winner's circle ceremony both De Long's had nothing but praise for their hard knocking filly.
"She was just awesome tonight," said John De Long. "After that opening half she had every right to fold up but she didn't tonight. There were a few times in the lane I started to worry but she just kept digging and digging and wasn't going to let them get by her tonight."