A promising yearling beset by problems as a 2 year old 2, Born To Fight put it all together Monday at The Meadows as he rolled through the slop to a convincing victory in the $31,250 championship of the Winning Mister Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings.
Gary Saul acquired Born To Fight for $42,000 at Harrisburg but could get only one start from him at age two.
"We took chips from both hind legs, and he had a bad infection,” Saul said. "We just got him ready to go when he got a quarter crack and lost a lot of hoof. It was no use going on with him at that point, so we gelded him and put him away. He came back really nice this year. We'll give him a couple weeks off.”
The son of Cantab Hall-China Tea Party won a preliminary leg of the series and was even more impressive in the final, moving first over for Brian Zendt and drawing off to score by 5-1/4 lengths over the rallying Done Andover It, an 88-1 bomb. Early leader Maxamillus was third.
Bill Zendt trains Born To Fight, who is eligible for a number of Pennsylvania stakes.
"He's been real gait handy,” Brian Zendt said. "I was glad to get him in a hole for a little while today. He's definitely a stallion series horse, although you don't know what will show up this year. He's not ready to trot in 1:54 like the sires stakes colts probably will go, but he's a nice little horse and getting better.”
In the $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, Do Me Honor extended her domination of the distaff elite at The Meadows by outkicking Tremor Hanover and downing her by a neck in 1:53.1. Red Star Hottie earned show. It was the ninth victory in 14 starts this year for the 5-year-old daughter of Cheyenne Rei-Do Me Right. Aaron Merriman drove for owner/trainer Bill Bercury. Merriman piloted four winners on the 15-race card while Dave Palone fashioned a triple.
Tuesday's program features the $33,250 championship of the Schoolkids Pace for sophomore colts and geldings. (The Meadows)