08/30/2016 1:06PM

Mohawk: Steacy fillies have a tough task ahead in Shes A Great Lady


The value of picking your post position after an elimination victory isn’t getting to select your exact spot on the gate, but rather eliminating any chance of a drawing a poor post.

Half a length is all that separated rookie pacing filly Happy Hannah from securing a great post position to drawing the dreaded 10-hole in the $427,000 Shes A Great Lady final.

Trained by Mark Steacy, Happy Hannah entered last Saturday’s ‘Great Lady’ eliminations with a victory and a pair of seconds in three starts.

The daughter of Well Said was sent to the front by driver Randy Waples and led the field into the backstretch before heavy favorite Candlelight Dinner made a brush to the lead.

Happy Hannah was in a fantastic spot to make the final following the undefeated leader. However, victory became an option when Candlelight Dinner began to fade at the top of the lane and Happy Hannah angled from the rail to take over top spot.

Appearing to be on her way to a victory, the Steacy trainee got picked off in deep stretch by a charging Thats My Ticket and finished second.

“She cleared a little bit too early in the stretch and being young she got lost,” said Steacy. “I think if she would have just come a little bit later she would’ve got the job done.”

The second-place effort secured Happy Hannah a spot in the rich final, her connections $8,750 plus a guaranteed check in the final and kept her record of top two finishes intact. The downside to finishing second, landing post ten in the open draw.

Staying away from the negatives, Happy Hannah appears to be a Grand Circuit player and Steacy believes she is getting stronger with each start.

“Unfortunately (finishing second) cost us the post position, but she has only had three or four starts and she is getting better each time.”

The first foal out of Hallie Gallie, a daughter of the great Galleria, Happy Hannah sold for $90,000 at last year’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale and showed her trainer talent and some sass training down.

“She was a little witch,” noted Steacy. “She was hard to break and she still is a little bit of a witch, but I like that little attitude in them anyways. She always showed a real nice gait and lots of ability from the start.”

After finishing second in her debut on July 25, Happy Hannah broke her maiden the next week in 1:53 4/5, pacing a 26 3/5 final-quarter. Through four starts, she has banked $45,637 for owners Stan Klemencic, Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc. and Hutt Racing Stable.

While Happy Hannah will have to overcome post 10 in Saturday’s final, her stablemate Obvious Blue Chip did just slightly better in the draw by landing post eight.

The daughter of Roll With Joe was making just her third start in last Saturday’s ‘Great Lady’ elimination and finished fifth to qualify for the final. A $35,000 purchase out of Harrisburg, Obvious Blue Chip, who was obviously bred by Blue Chip Farms, is owned by Nlg Racing Stable and Stephen Klunowski.

A winner in her career debut, Steacy pointed out that he didn’t originally plan on entering ‘Obvious’ in the event, but got his arm twisted by her original driver.

“Actually James (MacDonald) talked me into putting her in that race because she raced pretty good the start before.”

Obvious Blue Chip rallied in her elimination from last at the top of the lane to finish fifth by pacing home in 27 2/5. She has paced a final quarter of 27 2/5 or better in all three of her starts.

“She raced really well,” said Steacy. “She got shuffled back and still came on and got in, unfortunately she got the eight-hole, but if they go hard at the front, she could sneak in there for a piece.”

Obvious Blue Chip will attempt to put her strong closing speed to use and rally for a share in Saturday’s final, but don’t expect to see Happy Hannah at the back of the pack.

“I wouldn’t doubt that Hannah will probably have to go a little bit at the start,” Steacy said. “You can’t pull last, I don’t think, but that will be up to Randy.”

Steacy’s fillies will have to play with the hands they have been dealt for Saturday, but whether they can make some noise or not, the future appears bright.

$427,000 Shes A Great Lady Final


1. Candlelight Dinner – Casie Coleman

2. Thats The Ticket – Chris Ryder

3. World Apart – Linda Toscano

4. Idyllic Beach – Jimmy Takter

5. Everyones Watching – Tony Alagna

6. Agent Q – Aaron Lambert

7. Awash – Tony Alagna

8. Obvious Blue Chip – Mark Steacy

9. Blameitonthenight – Tony Alagna

10. Happy Hannah – Mark Steacy

--edited release (WEG)