09/10/2016 3:31PM

The Meadows: Sophomores battle it out in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships

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Chris Gooden
Call Me Queen Be used the Lightning Lane at The Meadows to topple Pure Country (#4)

The Meadows hosted the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits on Saturday afternoon, and Check Six, Call Me Queen Be, Cufflink Hanover, and Broadway Donna emerged with the victories.  Each race carried a purse of $252,000.

The marquee event on paper was the 3-year-old filly pace, with another duel between Pure Country (Brett Miller) and Darlinonthebeach (David Miller) expected to occur.  However, 14-1 shot Call Me Queen Be (Scott Zeron) threw a wrench in the proceedings.

Zeron had Call Me Queen Be on the engine at the 26 1/5 first quarter and the 55 second half, giving the cold shoulder to a parked-out Shesasmokinlady (Ray Paver) at both calls.  Darlinonthebeach then moved three-wide from second-over to take the lead, and she would clear Call Me Queen Be before the 1:21 1/5 three-quarters.  Pure Country tracked Darlinonthebeach's move, then was left first-over after the latter touched down on the point.

In the stretch Pure Country moved up to challenge Darlinonthebeach, but Call Me Queen Be still had pace as well, and Zeron guided her into the Lightning Lane.  Once she had clearance, Call Me Queen Be rushed past the favored fillies to prevail by a neck in 1:49 1/5, a new stakes record.  Pure Country had to settle for second, and Darlinonthebeach wound up third.

“I timed the gate pretty good with my horse,” Zeron said, “and when I got away where I did and saw the horse outside me jumping some stuff in the first turn, it made my decision to keep on trucking. Trip was the difference, having the rail and being able to control what we wanted to do. At the same time, my filly had to be on her game today, and she was.”

A daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, Call Me Queen Be is trained by Ross Croghan for co-owners Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham.  She now has eight wins and lifetime earnings of $673,382.  She paid $30.00 to win.

In the colt pace, Check Six (Yannick Gingras) let Western Fame (Mark MacDonald) clear at the 25 4/5 opening quarter, but he was right back out to take the lead as they raced in front of the grandstands for the first time.  Check Six would go on to hit the half in 54 4/5 and the three-quarters in 1:21 3/5, then responded to Gingras's urging through the lane to beat Western Fame by a length and a half in 1:50.  JK Will Power (David Miller) finished third.

Ron Burke trains and Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC., William Switala, and Clarence Martin own Check Six, a Somebeachsomewhere colt.  He has now won 11 times in his career, and he has earned $865,922.  He returned $4.20 to win as the even-money favorite.  Check Six is expected to lead a contingent of Burke entrants in the Little Brown Jug on September 22.

“He’ll make $1 million at 2 and 3 despite having a major screw-up at two when he stepped on a nail,” Burke said. “He’s a good horse.”

The colt trot went to Cufflink Hanover (David Miller), who got into a second-over position up the backstretch after Milligan's School (Andy Miller) broke stride.  Miller then sent Cufflink Hanover three-wide on the final turn, and he would go by leader Love Matters (Gingras) on his way to a 1:53 3/5 victory.  At the wire, Cufflink Hanover was 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Love Matters, with Hollywood Highway (John Campbell) back in third.

“I’m very happy for the owners,” David Miller said. “I’m very glad he’s done well for them.”

Cufflink Hanover, a gelding by Andover Hall, is trained by Chris Oakes for owner Crawford Farms Racing.  Cufflink Hanover picked up his eighth career victory, and he has now earned $352,980.  One of three horses sent off at 3-1, he paid $8.20 to win.

David Miller would also win the filly trot, guiding Broadway Donna to a repeat of her 2-year-old filly trot championship last season.  She worked out a second-over trip behind Womans Will (Andy Miller), then brushed into the lead in the stretch.  Miss Tezsla (Brett Miller) had a final late bid, but it fell half a length short to Broadway Donna, who halted the clock in 1:53 4/5.  Womans Will was third.

Jim Campbell trains Broadway Donna, a Donato Hanover filly, for owner/breeder Fashion Farms LLC.  Broadway Donna now has a record of 12-2-1 from 17 tries, and she has put away $800,894.  The 7-5 favorite, Broadway Donna returned $4.80.

“She was more like herself today, and I’m very happy with the way she raced,” Campbell said. “David thought he would be racing her from behind, and he drove her absolutely perfect. We didn’t make any equipment changes. We just thought we had to get her healthy more than anything else.”

--quotes courtesy of The Meadows--