Amigo Volo heads to Lexington off Keystone Classic win
September 18, 2020
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Amigo Volo powered to a professional, purposeful victory in Friday’s Keystone Classic at The Meadows, serving notice to his division rivals that he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in rich late-season stakes. Patriarch Hanover took the other division in the $79,700 stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters.
Considered one of the division’s best early in the year, Amigo Volo finished third in his Hambletonian elimination and fourth in the final, despite being stuck with post 10. While that performance may have downgraded him in the eyes of some, he’s now won three straight — including the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stake championship — and appears razor sharp.
“He’s on his way out to Lexington, so it was the perfect spot for him to come here and come calling through,” said winning driver Dexter Dunn. “He’s in his top form at the moment. As long as he keeps that form, I’m sure he’ll be competitive in the big races.”
In the Keystone Classic, the Father Patrick-Margarita Momma gelding shrugged off the unexpected first-up challenge of long shot Focus Pocus and prevailed in 1:54.3. The pocket-sitting Harley K was 2-1/2 lengths back in second while Focus Pocus saved show.
Amigo Volo now has banked $966,644 for trainer Nifty Norman and owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller.
Patriarch Hanover quarter-poled to the point for Matt Kakaley and downed early leader Town Victor by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.3, with Nezblanc third.
“He’s just a step behind a couple of the top sires stake horses,” Kakaley said of the son of Father Patrick-Personal Style, “but he gives his all every time, and he’s made some money. He’s had a respectable year so far.”
Ron Burke trains Patriarch Hanover, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $235,266, for Burke Racing Stable, William Switala, James Martin and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
$68,300 Keystone Classic — 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace
Speaking of peaking at the right time, Sandbetweenmytoes scored in 1:50 in Friday’s co-feature, giving him three wins in the last four starts — all in 1:50 or faster. Trainer Jim Campbell agreed that Fashion Farms’ homebred Somebeachsomewhere-Galleria gelding is more confident and sure gaited than he was early in the season.
“Unfortunately, his only bad race in the last four was the PA Sites Stake championship,” Campbell said. “We’ll take him to Delaware for the Jug. I think he’ll get around there good. He gets around a five-eighths-mile track pretty good, and that’s the best half-mile track in the country at Delaware. I don’t foresee any problems.”
Sandbetweenmytoes quarter-poled to the top for Scott Zeron and defeated early leader Tru Lou by 2-1/4 lengths. Seeyou At Thebeach completed the ticket. The winner extended his career earnings to $177,142.
You knew Burke would make some noise in this stake — he sent out 10 of the 17 starters — and he spoke loudly in the other split, sweeping the exacta with Cattlewash and The Greek Freak. Cattlewash shot the Lightning Lane for David Miller to prevail in 1:51. Ruthless Hanover earned show.
“He’s coming around at the right time, and I’m happy to be on board,” Miller said. “If he goes to the Jug, he’ll handle the half-mile track just fine. He’s a beautifully gaited horse.”
The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Road Bet now boasts $424,908 in career earnings for owner William Donovan. (MSOA)