Parked to the quarter before getting the lead, Fashion Athena kept right on rolling to a stakes record 1:55.1 in a division of Wednesday's (Keystone Classic at The Meadows.
The $115,997 event for 2-year-old filly trotters was contested over three divisions, with My America Bi and Classic Martine capturing the other splits.
Fashion Athena was coming off a disappointing performance in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship, where she worked out a pocket trip but faded to fifth. But she was dominant in the Keystone Classic for Dick Stillings despite the demanding opening panel, downing Upfrontluckycarol by 3 1/2 lengths. Early leader Coffeecake Hanover was third. The time erased the stakes record of 1:56.1 established by Up Front Juansteen in 2009.
"She was rank for some reason in the championship,” Stillings said. "She was mad the whole time, and I never could get her to relax. But I'd driven her before that, and she was really strong. She's a nice filly with a lot of class.”
Jim Campbell trains the daughter of Broadway Hall-Athena Hanover for owner/breeder Fashion Farms.
Winless in three previous outings, My America Bi beautifully followed the cover of the first-up Chiptomylou and defeated her by a nose in 1:58 for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer. Global Beauty earned show.
"You never know with trotting fillies how strong they'll be on the front,” Smedshammer said. "She's still green, and even if I hadn't got there, it wouldn't have been a big deal. She's still learning, and the owner isn't eager to push his horses too much.”
M Biasuzzi Stable owns My American Bi, a daughter of Donato Hanover-CR Ms American Pie who will be pointed to the Grand Circuit at The Red Mile.
Classic Martine, a homebred for Todd and Christine Schadel, had an easy time of it on the front end, scoring by four lengths over Blizzard Warning in 1:58.2 with Todd Schadel at the helm. The first-over Won Ton Hanover finished third. Schadel said he may give the daughter of Classic Photo-Drinking Days one more start this year at the Bloomsburg Fair.
"I thought she was the best in the race, so why not leave with her?” he said. "I might take her to Bloomsburg just for the heck of it. People make fun of fair horses, but that's where you make some of your best horses. She has some big stakes next year.” (The Meadows)