Wilkes-Barre, PA --- Undefeated champion filly Manchego makes her 2018 seasonal debut Monday (May 21) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, racing in the $56,480 10th race division of the second preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies.
Manchego, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Secret Magic. was bred by Brittany Farms LLC and is owned by Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. She was a winner of each of her 12 trips to the starting gate as a freshman, earning $873,948 and taking divisional honors. She finished her first season with a decisive victory over Phaetosive, whom many considered her closest rival, in the $600,000 Breeders Crown final at Hoosier Park.
In preparation for her return she qualified in 1:53.4, trotting her last quarter-mile in :27.3.
Manchego will start from post three in the eight-horse field for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter as she starts what could be a record-breaking year in any number of ways.
By luck of the draw, the two fastest winners in the first Sire Stakes leg, held at The Meadows on May 12, will be racing against Manchego. What A Knockout (post two, trainer Marcus Melander, driver David Miller) was victorious in 1:54.4; Live Laugh Love (trainer Nifty Norman, driver David Miller also listed early) went two ticks faster in keeping her 2018 record perfect after three starts, but here she must contend with drawing post eight.
The $56.480 11th race division contains the other Meadows Sire Stakes winner, Lily Stride (1:55.3). Tim Tetrick will again be behind the filly for trainer Mark Harder after drawing post four in an eight-horse field.
The $56,080 fifth race division is likely to be headed by Nixie Volo, who made two strong moves against Live Laugh Love only to come up a head short. Corey Callahan is scheduled to drive for trainer John Butenschoen from post five in a field of seven.