09/01/2015 4:49PM

Mohawk: High hopes for Darlinonthebeach in Shes A Great Lady

Derick Giwner
Darlinonthebeach and trainer Nancy Johansson.

She might have difficulty equaling the career of her award-winning mother, but Darlinonthebeach will be looking to turn heads in Saturday’s C$455,000 She’s A Great Lady Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers at Mohawk Racetrack.

The first daughter of Dan Patch Award-winning mare Darlin’s Delight, Darlinonthebeach heads to the She’s A Great Lady off a second-place finish to L A Delight in her elimination last weekend. She will start the 10-horse final from post six for trainer Nancy Johansson.

For the year, Darlinonthebeach, by stallion Somebeachsomewhere, has won one of five races and finished no worse than third in any start. She has earned $58,785 for breeder/owner White Birch Farm.

White Birch Farm, headed by Michael Parisi, also bred, raced and owns Darlin’s Delight, who earned $2.90 million in her career and received the 2006 Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old female pacer.

“Darlin’s Delight was a great mare,” Parisi said. “I’ve kept (Darlinonthebeach) as a future broodmare and I’m just hoping for the best. I think we’ll have fun racing her, but I don’t think she’s her mom. Her mom was probably the best mare my family ever owned. She really was special.”

That doesn’t mean Parisi is unhappy with what he’s seen so far from Darlinonthebeach. The filly finished second in her debut and won a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes before missing a month because of illness. She returned with two third-place efforts prior to her second-place finish in her She’s A Great Lady elim. David Miller drove Darlinonthebeach in the elimination.

“I really thought a lot of this filly off her first couple starts,” Parisi said. “After the second start she got pretty sick on us and it took a while for her to bounce back. She qualified good off the layoff and now she’s starting to come back to her own, I think.

“I was really happy with her last start. I think she’s going to put in a good mile this week.”

Darlin’s Delight’s first two foals were colts, both by Rocknroll Hanover, and were sold at yearling auctions by White Birch. They have combined to win six races and $40,498.

“The first two colts didn’t pan out like I thought,” Parisi said. “This one looked a lot different than the colts. The colts were a little short-legged and she was long-legged. Darlin was a very small mare, so that’s why I really liked this filly.

L A Delight defeated Darlinonthebeach by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54 2/5 in their She’s A Great Lady elimination. L A Delight, a daughter of Bettor’s Delight-West Of L A, has won seven of eight races this year and earned $136,359 for trainer Bob McIntosh, who owns the filly with C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings. She has won seven consecutive starts, including a division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes, since finishing third in her debut.

“That one filly (L A Delight) she’s been racing against is going to be the tough one,” Parisi said. “I just hope (Darlinonthebeach) gets a good trip and gets a piece of it. I think she’s going to race good.”

Thatsoveryverynice won the remaining She’s A Great Lady elimination by 2-1/2 lengths over Upside Surprise in 1:54 2/5. A daughter of Vintage Master-Fox Valley Zena, Thatsoveryverynice has won four of five starts and earned $109,764 for trainer Tony Alagna and owners Alagna Racing and Marvin Katz.

Following is the field for the She’s A Great Lady with listed drivers and trainers:

1. Three Dreams, James MacDonald, Jeff Bamond Jr.

2. Albany Girl, Doug McNair, Jimmy Takter

3. Thatsoveryverynice, Jody Jamieson, Tony Alagna

4. L A Delight, Randy Waples, Bob McIntosh

5. Upside Surprise, Doug McNair, Tony O’Sullivan

6. Darlinonthebeach, Brett Miller, Nancy Johansson

7. Highland Rocksolid, Rick Zeron, Marty Fine

8. Ivy League, Matt Kakaley, Jimmy Takter

9. JK Fannie, Matt Kakaley, Nancy Johansson

10. Blue Moon Stride, Scott Zeron, Mark Harder

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com