WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 20, 2014 -- A five-race maiden entering the race, Lilu Hanover overpowered her field in Wednesday's $160,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake at The Meadows, winning by 9-3/4 lengths in the stake-record time of 1:55.2.
The event for 2-year-old filly trotters was contested over eight divisions, with Bright Baby Blues, Sarcy, Aarena Hanover, Fly Angel Fly, Focus On Me, Global Ice and Flirting Filly also taking $20,000 splits. and trainer teamed to win four divisions (Lilu Hanover, Sarcy, Fly Angel Fly, Flirting Filly) while trainer fashioned a stake double (Bright Baby Blues, Aarena Hanover).
Lilu Hanover, who had been taking on top youngsters in such stakes as the Merrie Annabelle, devoured her stallion series competition, moving first over easily to gobble up the leader, Devoted, and draw off. Devoted held place, with Cantabulous Julie third. The time erased Nitro Nittany's stake mark of 1:56.1.
"She shows that she made a couple mistakes, so we just wanted to keep her clear of trouble," Palone said of the daughter of -Lady Luck Hanover. "She's definitely a Grand Circuit filly. It will be interesting when she goes to Lexington and faces the top ones. I don't think she'll take a back seat to too many."
Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld campaign Lilu Hanover.
Bright Baby Blues also dropped down a bit from PA Sires Stakes and enjoyed much the same result -- a maiden-breaking score in 1:57 when the track still was rated "good" before its upgrade later in the card. Wouldn't Itbesweet was 3 lengths back in second, with Party Right Now third. Bright Baby Blues finished with a tire that leaked most of its air during the race.
"She had to come first up and do the dirty work, but I never pulled the plugs," said winning driver . "What a nice filly -- straight as a string and perfect."
Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee own Bright Baby Blues, a daughter of -Bar Slide.
Aarena Hanover hadn't been on the lead at any point in the four previous starts of her career, but quickly changed that when he gunned her to the front. She prevailed without a challenge in 1:57.4, 2-3/4 lengths better than Donato Babe. Red's Winner earned show.
"Nifty's style is, for a main portion of the beginning of the year, to make sure they don't get rowdy and warm, so he likes to race them off the pace," Zeron said. "His assistant trainer today told me: 'This horse is smart now; do whatever you want out there.' I pulled her plugs just to get her attention down the lane, but she was real strong going across the wire."
J&T Silva Stables and John Fielding own the daughter of -Angel Pie.
Elsewhere on the card, Ma Chere Hall moved first over in a $15,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life Trot to score in 1:53.1, fastest ever by a 4-year-old mare at The Meadows. Prismatica was second, 4-1/4 lengths in arrears, with Dizzy Rizzy third.
Zeron, who drove three winners on the 16-race card, piloted for trainer and owners Walnut Hall Limited, Aldebaran Park Inc. and Joe Sbrocco, It was the first victory in nine tries this year for the 4-year-old daughter of -Margarita Hall, who banked $506,869 at 3.
Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday, when the card features the Delmonica Hanover, a $234,584 PA Sires Stake for freshman filly trotters. First post is 6:55 PM.
by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows