Delray Dude overpowering in Meadows series opener
March 08, 2019
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Delray Dude overpowered the field in a 1:52.4 victory in Friday's opening leg of the Walter Russell Memorial Pace at The Meadows. Dew A Little Dance survived a late rally by Touch Of The West in the other $12,500 division of the event for 3- and 4-year-old colts, stallions and geldings.
A 4-year-old American Ideal-Docdor Libby gelding, Delray Dude entered the series off a break at Yonkers. But he was fast and straight Friday, lowering his life mark 2.4 seconds for Dave Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The pocket-sitting Stonelake was second, 1-1/2 lengths in arrears, while previously unbeaten Champagneonabeach settled for show.
Friday's card also featured a "battle of millionaires" in the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace as Dapper Dude roared from the pocket to down Dancin Yankee by 3/4 lengths in 1:50.3. Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. drove for trainer Tim Twaddle and owner Micki Rae Stables.
Palone and Burke each fashioned a triple on the 13-race card. Tony Hall piloted a pair of winners to give him 14 over the last four programs.
During the week, The Meadows kicked off three other series for 3- and 4-year-olds. Among the highlights:
Mary Wolhmuth Memorial Trot — Fillies & Mares
Galary Girl let Revival do all the heavy lifting on the front before out-finishing her in the Lightning Lane to score in 1:59, fastest of Wednesday's three opening-leg divisions. Also taking $12,500 splits were Lindy Misssunshine and Moshannon Magic.
When menacing challenger Sweet Madam jumped it off, it appeared Revival might be home free. But Galary Girl powered through the Lightning Lane for Mike Wilder and defeated Revival by 1-1/2 lengths, with Ima Yankee third. Rich Gillock trains the 4-year-old daughter of Angus Hall-Sierra Fortune for Hutt Racing Stable.
In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, Maewegonow made it two straight with a 1:58.2 victory for Hall, trainer Richard Perfido and owner Thomas Mattingly. Hall notched four wins and Gillock three on the 13-race program.
Ken Weaver Memorial Trot — Colts, Stallions & Geldings
First Maestro followed the live cover of Explosive Magic, then zipped by him in the lane to capture the fastest of Tuesday's three opening-leg divisions. Ryanlee and Fan The Flames took the other $12,500 splits.
A sophomore son of Winning Mister-First Sonata, First Maestro failed to take a mark in 13 tries last year but is undefeated in three 2019 outings. He downed Explosive Magic by a neck in 1:58.4 for Hall, trainer Norm Parker and owner/breeder Bob Key. Andovers Asset earned show.
In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, Circle The Page went from worst to first to pull off a 16-1 upset for Dan Rawlings. John Sullivan conditions the 5-year-old daughter of Real Artist-Queen Marie, who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $226,334, and owns with Michael Marocco. Wilder and Hall each piloted three winners on the 13-race card.
Donna Dunn Memorial Pace — Fillies & Mares
Mystical Thread and Miss Daisy Duke registered front-end victories in the $12,500 divisions, although the performance of the former may have been a bit more impressive, as it occurred after steady snow had turned the track condition to "good." The 4-year-old daughter of Fred And Ginger-Threads Of Life roared to the front for Palone and trainer J.W. Miller and scored in a career-best 1:56.4, 3 lengths ahead of Better Speed, with Ultra Violet third.
A 4-year-old daughter of Sportswriter-Keystone Jubilee, Miss Daisy Duke prevailed in 1:58.1 for Wilder and trainer Spencer Kahrig. She's The Best rallied for second, falling a head short, while Flipping Fun was fourth-placed third. Kahrig Racing Stable enjoyed a sweep, as it campaigns Miss Daisy Duke with Cache Is King LLC and Paul Czopek and owns Mystical Thread in partnership with Caleb Little.
Hall was the day's driving star again with five wins on the 13-race program.