05/08/2016 5:21PM

Miami Valley: Solar Sister captures Chip Noble Memorial

Conrad Photo
Solar Sister (#4) was on the winning side of a photo finish in Miami Valley Raceway's Chip Noble Memorial

Solar Sister came out on top in a stretch-long battle and then survived a lengthy inquiry to take home top honors in Sunday afternoon's $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial for aged pacing mares at Miami Valley Raceway in 1:51 2/5.

With Doug McNair at the controls, Solar Sister was the first leader, but she was challenged early by Lady Shadow, who cleared past the 26 2/5 opening quarter.  Lady Shadow then got to the half in 55 2/5 before favored Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube) began to move first-over out of third.

Yagonnakissmeornot rushed by Lady Shadow in the backstretch, and she was the new leader before the 1:22 3/5 three-quarters.  Behind Yagonnakissmeornot, Solar Sister managed to squeeze out of the pocket in a tight spot, and that would be the focus of the inquiry to follow.

In the stretch Yagonnakissmeornot and Solar Sister battled tooth-and-nail, and then they were joined by a late-pacing Purrfect Bags (Vic Kirby).  The photo finish camera had to separate the three mares at the wire, and it showed that Solar Sister had just gotten there over Yagonnakissmeornot with Purrfect Bags back in third.

The judges then had to go to work to see if Solar Sister had caused interference when she came out of the pocket in the backstretch.  After a lengthy deliberation, they determined that Lady Shadow, who was off the rail by a considerable amount, had caused confusion to trailing horses, and deemed that Solar Sister would remain the winner.

"She qualified big on a five-eighths at Pompano, and we train her on a half, so I didn't think the turns would hinder her any," said winning trainer Gregg McNair.  "She's been a good mare, pretty consistent her whole life.

"She's staked up to race against the good mares all summer, so if she continues like that, that's where she'll be."

Solar Sister, a 4-year-old Mach Three mare, is a homebred racing for David Willmot and Clay H. Horner of Ontario.  This was her 11th career victory, and she has now earned $681,387.  The O'Brien Award winner for top 3-year-old pacing filly in Canada last year, Solar Sister returned $12.40 to win.