Crystal Fashion sets Meadows track record in PASS
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Crystal Fashion rebounded nicely from his tough beat as the Hambletonian favorite, putting away the field with a powerful first over bid and sprinting off to a 5-length victory in 1:53 — a track record for 3-year-old gelding trotters — in Wednesday's $167,288 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. Lawmaker took the other split in the event known as the Hickory Smoke.
Crystal Fashion won his Hambletonian elimination but was parked throughout the final, losing by only 1-1/4 lengths. Following that maximum effort, trainer Jim Campbell and owner Jules Siegel of Fashion Farms decided to skip the Zweig to give Crystal Fashion more time to recover and earn PASS points in the Hickory Smoke.
That strategy paid off Wednesday as the son of Cantab Hall-Window Willow, the 1-9 favorite, exploded from third down the backside for Tim Tetrick, put away Scirocco Rob and erased the previous record of 1:53.2 set by Lady's Dude. Scirocco Rob was a clear second, with early leader Hill Street third.
"Anytime you come out of a two-heat race, you're always concerned with how they'll bounce back," Campbell said. "But he looked as good as he's ever been. He seems to like (first-over trips). He's a pretty laid-back horse, and he likes just riding up there."
The win lifted Crystal Fashion's lifetime bankroll to $686,974 and propelled him into the $252,000 PASS championship set for Sept. 2 at Pocono.
Lawmaker lacked the points to reach the championship, but his win was impressive nonetheless. He zipped to the point from post 7 for Anthony MacDonald and rolled home in 1:53.4, 8-3/4 lengths ahead of the rallying Exarch, with Can't Afford It third. A key point in the race came at the quarter, where MacDonald and Lawmaker wouldn't release Whats The Word in his bid for the lead.
"I wouldn't have let my mother go at that point," MacDonald said. "We'd had everything our own way. Obviously, it was a tremendous heartbreak when he broke stride in the Hambletonian, but he bounced back. When he was younger and green, he'd wait for them on the front end. He was all business today. I never even pulled the ear plugs."
Andrew Harris trains the son of Muscle Massive-Pretty Amigo, who now boasts $286,247 in career earnings, for Thestable Lawmaker group.
$40,000 PA Stallion Series — 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters
The stallion series stake belonged to trainer Julie Miller, who swept the two divisions with Max's Beast and Toast Of Lindy.
Max's Beast outkicked his entry-mate, Im Your Captain, in the stretch and downed him by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:55.1. The first-over Rich And Miserable completed the ticket.
"We followed the right horse, and he responded," said winning driver Yannick Gingras. "He's been on the front many times, and I was okay with cutting it. But the best horse came at us, so we sat behind him and beat him."
With the win, the son of Cantab Hall-Contender Hanover has banked $113,552 for Andy Miller Stable and Harvey Eisman.
Andy Miller had the honors aboard Toast Of Lindy, but those honors nearly turned disastrous when Stonebridge Gamble made a dangerous break on the lead entering the final turn. Toast Of Lindy was trapped in the pocket with nowhere to go. But Tyler Buter was able to guide Stonebridge Gamble safely off the course, leaving the Lightning Lane to Toast Of Lindy.
The son of Cantab Hall Bellini Lindy poured through to score in 1:56.4, a neck better than the hard-used Spartan. Hillation earned show.
"That was the trip I was looking for until that horse on the front stopped," Andy Miller said "Luckily, he got out of the way, and I was able to go forward."
Toast Of Lindy extended his career bankroll to $135,613 for Andy Miller Stable, Lindy Racing Stable and GTY Stable.
Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday with a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers — the Romola Hanover, a $160,238 PASS, and a $40,000 PA Stallion Series event. First post for the special twilight card is 5:30 PM.