Shuffled to fifth and with no racing room in sight, His Excellence found a path to victory deep in the Lighting Lane and pulled off a 9-1 upset in Saturday’s (April 7) $15,000 opening leg of the Tom Kirwan Memorial Pace at The Meadows. The series for 3-year-old colts and geldings honors the memory of Tom Kirwan, who began his career as a trainer/driver at The Meadows and later served for many years as the track’s stall superintendent.
Using Lasix for the first time, His Excellence was away third but never saw daylight until Aaron Merriman pointed him to the Lightning Lane. He blew by the 1-5 favorite, Daddyofemall, and scored in 1:55.4 over a "good" surface. The pocket-sitting Antagonist also rallied inside for second, a neck back, while the previously undefeated Daddyofemall saved show.
Randy Bendis trains His Excellence, a Well Said-So Ravishing gelding, and owns with Tom Pollack, Reed Broadway and Mike Novosel Jr.
Speaking of owners Bendis and Pollack, they also took the $20,000 Preferred Pace when the Bendis-trained A Real Miracle used a second-over trip to score in 1:51.1 at a handsome 14-1. Ronnie Wrenn Jr. piloted the 8-year-old son of Real Desire-I Need A Miracle, who extended his career bankroll to $324,233.
Dave Palone and Merriman each collected three wins on the 12-race card. (The Meadows)