Trainer Ron Burke swept both divisions of Saturday's $125,000 Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers with Storm Point and Sassa Hanover. The Grand Circuit stake was part of the Adios Day card at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino.
Black Horse Racing's Storm Point launched a relentless first-over move from fourth for Dave Palone. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Limestone Cowgirl wore down the leader, Bettor Be Steppin, and defeated her by a half-length in a career-best 1:50.2, a national season's mark. Bedroomconfessions rallied for show.
Sassa Hanover made the lead with a quarter-pole move and held off Better Said, downing her by a length in 1:50.4. Southwind Roulette, also from the Burke stable, earned show.
"When she's good, she's good from anywhere,” said winning driver Yannick Gingras. "She hasn't been on her game for a little while. Her blood wasn't right — everything was messed up. But it seemed like she was back today. She can race any which way when she's good.”
Burke Racing Stable, Panhellenic Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Larry Karr campaign Sassa Hanover, who soared over $600,000 in lifetime earnings.
In other Adios Day Grand Circuit action:
$65,142 James Manderino — 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trotters
Jacksons Minion, a Hambletonian eligible, made it three straight wins in grand style, rolling to a front-end win in 1:53.1. That knocked a tick from Lady's Dude's track record for sophomore geldings and erased the stake mark of 1:54.1 jointly held by SJ's Caviar and Wheelsandthelegman. Chef Lee was second, 1 1/4 lengths back, with Shoot The Thrill third.
"I didn't know he'd go in 1:53, but I thought he could go 1:54 plus anyway,” said trainer/driver Tom Jackson, who owns the son of explosive Matter-Armbro Espionage with Howard Taylor and Judith Taylor. "That's about all he had at the wire, but I didn't give him his head until halfway through the last turn.”
In the other Manderino split, Suit And Tie looked much the best on paper — he was hammered down to 1-9—and he looked just as sharp on the track, notching a front-end victory in 1:56. Only The Brave closed well for second, a length in arrears, while the pocket-sitting Simeon earned show. Corey Callahan piloted the son of Andover Hall-Warrawee Krisp — a Hambletonian eligible — for owners William Wiswell and M&L of Delaware.
"He wasn't quite himself when he raced here last week,” said Tyler Butenschoen, assistant to winning trainer John Butenschoen. "He had a good week training, and he raced like he was supposed to. We added some cups, and we went to aluminum shoes up front. He's eligible to the Townsend Ackerman as well as the Hambletonian, so it's the owners' call.”
$65,000 Ned McCarr — 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters
Sky Hanover meandered to the front from the gate, but she was strong enough on the lead to hold off Meadowbanch Wendy by a nose in 1:56.2. Pad Princess completed the ticket.
"I took my time getting there, made sure she behaved herself,” said winning driver Andy Miller. "After that, it was a matter of keeping her attention. She's made breaks of and on, but she's been pretty honest lately.”
Julie Miller trains Sky Hanover for Little E LLC, Westminster Road LLC and Banyan Farms. (The Meadows)