Casanova’s Jewel erased a 10-length deficit following a break and roared home for an improbable victory in Monday’s (July 16) $120,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stakes at The Meadows.
The event for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings was contested over six divisions, with Faithfulandtrue, Crossfit, Cantab Ed, Forecast and Heavensdor Hanover taking the other splits. Eric Goodell enjoyed a stakes double behind Forecast and Heavensdor Hanover.
When Casanova’s Jewel misfired near the half, he figured to be getting a training trip and nothing more. But the son of Muscle Massive and True Love kept advancing for Anthony MacDonald and defeated Andovers Asset by a length to earn his maiden score in 2:00.2. Explosive Magic finished third.
"He’s just green, and I lost him coming out of that turn," MacDonald said. "I was surprised he caught back so quick and was level headed. He has a lot of heart, and he’s a worker. That’s what I love the most about our horses. The ones you like are the ones that want to do it. You can’t do what he just did unless you love what you do."
Andrew Harris trains Casanova’s Jewel for Thestable Casanova Group.
Two weeks ago in his career debut, Faithfulandtrue inherited the lead following a break and took maximum advantage, collecting his initial victory. On Monday, it was déjà vu all over again; the leader broke, Faithfulandtrue took over the point and drew off to prevail in a stakes-fastest 1:58.3. Didyaseezmedoit was second, 3-1/4 lengths back, while Pocono Hanover completed the ticket.
It was a gratifying win for driver Michael Cole, owner George & Tina Dennis Racing and trainer Joseph Columbo, who described the Donato Hanover-Seducer Hall gelding as a "problem child."
"He was a little hard on us, breaking him," Columbo said. "He got a little sore on us, and we found an abscess in his groin after we gelded him, so we had to take a little bit more time coming back. So he was a little bit behind the others, but he caught right up."
Crossfit found late racing room, angled to the middle of the track for Aaron Merriman and broke his maiden in 2:00.4. Dudelookslikelindy finished second, beaten 1-1/4 lengths, with Big Bad Caviar third.
"He has a lot of depth to him, but I haven’t got him ironed out yet. He’s kind of rough going," said Chris Beaver, who conditions the son of Donato Hanover and Muscle Test for Joe Sbrocco. "He’s not 100 percent in rhythm right now. When I get him on a great big track like Lexington in the fall, he might shine there."
Dave Palone and Goodell each piloted three winners on the 13-race card.
Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday (July 17), when the program features the Hickory Pride, a $184,588 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for freshman trotting colts and geldings. Also on Tuesday, The Meadows will announce the field for the $450,000 (est.) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids, which kicks off with eliminations Saturday (July 21). First post Tuesday is 1:05 p.m. (The Meadows)