Winning It, an early-season terror at The Meadows, regained her golden touch Monday at the track by capturing a Keystone Classic division in a stake-fastest 1:52.3. The $105,000 event for 3-year-old filly pacers was contested over three divisions, with Campanile and Podges Lady also taking $35,000 splits.
Winning It swept a pair of spring series at The Meadows with six straight victories but leveled off as she began to face tougher foes, including stakes company and experienced older mares. She prepped for the Keystone Classic by roaring from ninth to win an overnight at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and flashed that same style Monday by coming first over to collar Kiss Don't Bite and downing that rival by 1 1/4 lengths. Alibi Hanover rallied for show.
" It's tough for them when they start early like that to maintain their form all through the summer,” said winning driver Dave Palone. "She was in a very tough group of Pennsylvania 3 year olds, with Economy Terror, Marty Party and the likes of those kind of horses. She ranks somewhere in the top 10, probably in the back half of the top 10, and now that those fillies aren't showing up, she's showing that she's a very nice filly, and she'll get better with age.”
Ron Burke trains the daughter of Dragon Again-Day After Day for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Panhellenic Stable. Palone piloted six winners on the 16-race card, including four for Burke.
Campanile and Matt Kakaley survived an eventful journey when their backside cover, Sangaal and Palone, broke stride briefly in front of them. They avoided the breaker and ground out a win in 1:52.4. Tykesa Moon was wide in the stretch and missed by a neck, with I Am Passionate third.
"We had to move three deep pretty early, and when Palone made a break, it kept us out there,” Kakaley said. "Dave kind of stayed right in his spot, so I was able to get around him. She's a nice little mare—she digs in.”
Peter Pan Stables bred and owns the daughter of No Pan Intended-Campanita.
Podges Lady, who formerly held The Meadows' record for freshman fillies, demonstrated again her affection for the track by waiting until the field settled before dashing to the front for Eric Ledford and triumphing by a neck over Frontierpan in 1:53.3. Four Starzzz Girl earned show.
"She was good, but Frontierpan was climbing on me,” Ledford said. "She was good last year, but she ran into a buzz saw this year. She can pace in 1:51, but she draws in with three or four others who can go in 1:49. Maybe next year she'll step up her game a little bit.”
Joe Seekman conditions the daughter of The Panderosa-Four Starzzzz Hope, who now boasts $387,700 in career earnings, for Sawgrass Farms. (The Meadows)