Pennsylvania breeders celebrated the fruits of their labors at the second "Pennsylvania's Day at the Races" Oct. 5 at Philadelphia Park. Six $50,000 stakes restricted to state-breds made up the bulk of a program highlighted by the by the $250,000 Cotillion Handicap.
Breeders have even more reason to feel optimistic about the future of their industry because both gubernatorial candidates have come out in support of slot machines at state racetracks. That could send purses soaring and, in return, make Pennsylvania-breds even more valuable.
"The competition will be tougher when slots come, but it's really a win-win situation for everyone," said Bill Gallagher, who with his wife, Lynda, has bred several Pennsylvania-breds. (One of them is Amazing Philly, who was foaled at Philadelphia Park and her sire never determined.) "The Pennsylvania program is good now, and it will only get better."
"We're finally set to get our payday after years of hard work," said Peter Giangiulio, who stands several stallions at Castle Rock Farm in Unionville and is the vice president of the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association. "We don't need slots to save us--top to bottom, from stakes to claiming races, a Pennsylvania breeder gets the same bonus percentage. Slots will only make our good program better."
On the racetrack, Edward Rudley's Yo, trained by Eddie Colletti Jr, won the Storm Cat Stakes for 2-year-olds at six furlongs, while the Eugene Weymouth-owned and -trained Carouse took the Lil E Tee Stakes, a 1 1/16 mile test for 3-year-olds.
Recent Maryland Million winner Docent, owned by Mrs. Bernard J. Daney and trained by Tim Ritchey, easily won the $50,000 Devil's Honor Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at seven furlongs, while 11-year-old Sir Echo repeated his 2001 victory in the Yankee Affair Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the turf for owner Tradewinds Stable and trainer John Zimmerman.
Vincent Scuderi's Betty's Hat, trained by Dick Dutrow, took the Ambassador of Luck Handicap for fillies and mares at seven furlongs, while Casino Royale Farm's Caught in the Rain, trained by Guadalupe Preciado, won the Mrs. Penny, a 1 1/16 mile turf event for fillies and mares.