Saturday’s stakes program at The Meadow will have the look of a preview for the $450,000 (est) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids. That’s because 44 of Saturday’s competitors are Adios eligibles looking to punch their tickets to one of the premier events for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers.
Nineteen of these outstanding sophomores will vie in the Bye Bye Byrd, a $193,156 Pennsylvania Sires Stake, while the other 25 are set for a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event. Eliminations for the Adios will take place Saturday, July 25, with the final the following Saturday. The draw for eliminations post positions is set for Tuesday, July 21.
Saturday’s 15-race card also features the $42,610 James Manderino, an Arden Downs stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters, and an $8,881.21 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM.
Many of the Adios hopefuls enter Saturday’s stakes action off fine performances, but the work of Sandbetweenmytoes (race 10, post 3, Dave Palone) was downright eye-popping. Stuck first over in the slop, he persevered and captured a July 10 PASS split at Harrah’s Philadelphia in a career-best 1:50.4.
A Fashion Farms homebred, Sandbetweenmytoes appeared destined for greatness. He’s by Somebeachsomewhere out of Galleria, who won more than $1.8 million and a pair of Dan Patch Awards. Yet his freshman statistics were only okay — one victory, $29,397 on his card. Still, his trainer, Jim Campbell, saw signs that this gelding could be special.
“He kind of showed us that at Lexington last year when he paced a good last quarter and performed well after that,” Campbell said. “He’s come back better than I anticipated.”
Campbell agrees that last week’s determined win was a “breakthrough” race.
“He did it the hard way, coming first over and beating a good horse on the front.”
Despite that, Campbell isn’t ready to commit Sandbetweenmytoes to the Adios.
“It depends on how he races Saturday,” Campbell said. “We’re hoping he gives us a good reason to put him in the Adios. You know how competitive it will be with so many pacers able to go so fast.”
It’s a good bet the connections of 43 other Adios hopefuls are thinking much the same thing.