Fiji takes 1:55.3 career mark in PA Stallion Series
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"When I go into a race with a horse I don't know, I just kind of let the horse tell me," Pantaleano said. "He was very aggressive behind the gate and extremely good gaited. As good as he felt going out of there, I made a decision to try to control the race."
Fiji had little trouble repelling the first-over thrust of Iholdon, downing him by 3/4 lengths over a sloppy surface. Meadowbranch Memo shot the Lightning Lane for show.
Blownoutofthewater survived a snaky journey through the stretch, drifting out and losing valuable ground. Dave Palone was able to straighten him while continuing to urge him forward. The Explosive Matter-Andover Mermaid gelding earned his second stallion series victory in 1:56.1, 1/2 length better than Skeezix. Moneycounts De Vie completed the ticket.
"He was a little bit bumpy late," Palone said, "but he's a horse with a good set of lungs. I thought if I just got him away, I could let him do his work first over, and he might be the strongest. He had plenty of go. It was a matter of keeping him at it."
Jenny Melander conditions Blownoutofthewater for Steve Organ.
Elysium Lindy popped right to the front for Pantaleano and withstood a severe challenge from the pocket-sitting Dominus Hanover, holding him off by a nose in 1:56.4. Tyson recovered from a pair of breaks to earn show.
"He showed up on Saturday, and because it was so hot, we just let him relax," said Kelly Stackowicz, who trains the Cantab Hall-Olympic Lindy gelding locally for owner George Beck. "We jogged a little bit yesterday, and he did his job today."
In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Skippin By powered by Medusa in the lane to defeat her by 1/2 length in 1:52.1. Best Of Jenna was a ground-saving third. Palone drove for Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Wall Brothers Stable and Bruce Soulsby.
With the victory, the 5-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Southern Magnolia boasts a lifetime bankroll of $617,879. It was one of five wins for Palone on the 14-race card.
Tuesday's program at The Meadows features the Hickory Smoke, a $163,309 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for sophomore colt and gelding trotters. First post is 1 PM.