Grinding relentlessly through the stretch, Page McKenney wore down Duval to draw away and win the $100,000 Lyman Stakes by a length on April 29.
Owned by Adam Staple and Jalin Racing Stables and trained by Mary Eppler, the 7-year-old gelding won for the 18th time in an amazing career.
With his share of the $100,000 purse, Page McKenney increased his earnings to over $1.5 million.
Sent off as the 8-5 favorite in the field of 11, Page McKinney finished the seven furlong race in 1:23.38 over a fast track and paid $5.20 to win.
Sitting third and only about a length and a half off the leaders down the backside, Page McKenney eased out three wide into stretch, drifted out slightly while clear in deep stretch and edged away to win.
Someday Jones, just off the rail and just off the pace, angled to the outside leaving the turn, was slowly gaining while steading slight in the final strides to finish second over Duval, who took the lead on the turn but raced very erratically through the stretch, drifting in and out and giving way grudgingly.
This was Page McKenney’s third stakes win in 2017, having previously won the Native Dancer Stakes at Laurel on Jan. 21 and the John B. Campbell, also at Laurel, on Feb. 18.
DISCREET Senorita won the $100,000 Foxy J G Stakes, also on April 29, by two lengths over Heatherly and defending champion Disco Chick.
Owned jointly by Dun Roamin Farms, Inc., and Rosemore Farms, Inc., and trained by Ed Lehman, Discreet Senorita was sent off at 5-1, finished the seven furlongs in 1:23.76 and paid $13.40 to win.
The 5-year-old Discreet Cat mare was unhurried through the opening stages, but she was well placed, lying third with a half mile to go, about three lengths off the lead held by Disco Chick.
Disco Chick tried to open her lead in the second quarter, quickening to the far turn with a half in 46.06.
Discreet Senorita lost a bit of ground then, and with three-eighths to go was almost five lengths back.
Jockey Frankie Pennington began to get Discreet Senorita in gear approaching the quarter pole and started to quickly close the gap as Disco Chick began to tire.
Discreet Senorita took the lead about a furlong from the wire and opened her lead to two lengths.
Heatherly rallied along the inside leaving the turn to loom boldly through the stretch but needed more, while Disco Chick, who had broken in the air, weakened in late stretch.
ROSE TREE, bred by Mr. and Mrs. Rodman W. Moorhead and owned by their Buttonwood Stable, trained by Jonathan Sheppard and ridden by Andrew Wolfsont, made it three wins from three starts when she easily won an allowance race at Parx on May 1.
She had previously broken her maiden and then won the Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies Stakes on Nov. 23.
Sheppard gave her a couple of months off and put her back into training in late winter.
Rose Tree had been entered in the Foxy J F Stakes, but Sheppard said they did that “just to cover all the bases in case the allowance race didn’t go.”
“We thought the allowance race would be easier,” said Sheppard. “Also, the allowance race was for 3-year-olds and the stakes was for 3-year-olds and up, and we thought it better to stick with her age group. There’ll be plenty of stakes down the road.”
Rose Tree was unhurried at the start and was bumped in mid-stretch but drew off easily to win by 4 ½ lengths.
“She was quite impressive,” said Sheppard.
Rose Tree’s stablemate Downhill Dancer, who won the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes on Dec. 3 for the same connections, was in training at Delaware Park but is now back at Sheppard’s farm in West Grove. “He didn’t look as comfortable training on the dirt at Delaware, so we thought we’d wait for turf racing to begin,” said Sheppard.