Bettis, Real Espresso win PA Fair Finals; new mark for Go On BB
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Forced wide prematurely, Bettis turned the three path into the “Bus Lane” as he captured the $20,000 Pennsylvania Fair Final for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters on Friday at The Meadows. Chasing front-ending Valentine De Vie down the backside, Bettis was trapped behind stalled cover when trainer/driver David Wade sent him wide.
“I had to get out from behind that horse -- it was getting unsafe,” Wade said. “I remember at one fair he made a break early and got back about 15 lengths. When I caught the field he got to follow horses. But usually he’s up front, although you can take him off.”
Bettis persevered to score in 1:58.3, 1-1/4 lengths better than the closing Mablesimamazed. Valentine De Vie saved show. Wade bred and owns Bettis, a son of Sierra Kosmos-S J’s Shad Roe, with William F. Peel III and Gerald Brittingham.
Bettis, of course, was named for retired Pittsburgh Steelers star Jerome Bettis, who was nicknamed “The Bus.” He was coupled in the wagering with the Wade stable’s Jeremiah Trotter, named for the Philadelphia Eagles linebacker, who finished sixth. Is there a pattern here, horses named for Pennsylvania gridiron greats?
“My wife Ann names them,” Wade explained. “We also had one who didn’t make it to the races that we wanted to name Brian Westbrook (after the Eagles running back). We couldn’t get that approved, so we called him IB Westbrook.”
Wade said Bettis will race next in the Keystone Classic at The Meadows.
It was an entry that dominated the $20,000 PA Fair Final for freshman pacing fillies as Real Espresso blew by stablemate Bell On Wheels in the lane to score by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:57. Rodney Bolon drove Real Espresso, a daughter of Real Artist-Cafeuccino, for Roger Hammer, who trains and owns both fillies. Ashley’s Pride finished third.
Hammer said he elected to drive Bell On Wheels because she can be harder to handle than Real Espresso, who now has won five consecutive races.
“I wanted Rodney to have Real Espresso because she’s a real safe mare,” Hammer said. “The other one can be a little funny. Real Espresso got good towards the end of the season. We really didn’t train her down that much. She raced into shape at the fairs.”
He said both fillies will be turned out for the balance of the year.
In the $25,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Pace, Go On BB triumphed for Dave Palone in 1:50, the fastest mile ever paced at The Meadows by a filly or mare. Native Bride set the previous mark of 1:50.1 earlier this year. Go On BB also lowered her own track record of 1:51.3 for 4-year-old pacing mares.
Palone sent Go On BB to the front with a quarter-pole move. The daughter of Dontgetinmyway-Challo BB clocked matching halves of :55. Spring Break was second, with Tidewaterdragonfly in third.
Mickey Burke trains Go On BB for Frank Baldachino. The victory was one of seven on the 16-race card for Palone. (The Meadows)