by Ellen Harvey and Dave Briggs
Pasithea Face S and Tim Tetrick won the $176,250 Dr. John Steele Memorial for trotting mares by two lengths in 1:51.2 Saturday at The Meadowlands. It was her first win in the United States.
Emoticon Hanover, driven by Daniel Dube, got to the lead in a time of :27.3 for the first quarter, but were soon overtaken by Hannelore Hanover (Yannick Gingras), who had the lead at the :54.4 half, before Pasithea Face S came up to challenge at about the five eighths mile mark. Those two trotted together around the final turn and in to the stretch, with Emoticon Hanover looking to squeeze up the rail.
Pasithea Face trotted on to the wire with mild urging for the win by two lengths, paying $9.60, $6.00, $15.20. Caprice Hill ($15.60, $41.60) got up for second and Emoticon Hanover ($23.00) was third.
“This horse is really strong, “ said Anders Strom, who races the five-year-old mare under his stable name of Courant, Inc., “I thought she would do great by the mile track and so did her trainer, Lutfi Kolgini in Sweden. We are friends with (trainer) Jimmy (Takter), so of course this is a great option to come over and try to get a big record for her before she goes to the breeding barn.”
Pasithea Face races in the red and gold silks of her owner, designed for a simple reason, said Strom, “It’s because my mom can’t really find my horses in the race, so that’s why we wear this color for the horse.
“We have this style in France, the owner’s colors, and I think it’s a good thing because the fans of a certain stable can follow it easier. Of course, the drivers moan about it, but I guess they are going to have to do if they are going to (want the drives).”
Tetrick said he got to drive Pasithea Face S two weeks ago, not long after the mare arrived in the United States from Sweden.
“I got to drive her two weeks ago (in a second place finish in the Ms. Versatility) and I just loved her,” said Tetrick. “It was her first start here and thought we’d go nice and easy with her and she trotted strong to the wire. She did her job today. Hannelore Hanover was the one to beat today. She didn’t have the best day, but take nothing away from my mare, she was awesome.”
Odds on favorite Hannelore Hanover faded to fourth.