Homicide Hunter sets mark in Meadows Maturity
June 19, 2016
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Winless in four previous starts this year, Homicide Hunter regained his touch Saturday at The Meadows when he shot the Lightning Lane to capture the $54,000 Meadows Maturity Trot for stallions and geldings 4 and up in 1:51.4, fastest ever by a 4-year-old gelding at The Meadows. The time eclipsed the mark of 1:52.2 established by Rembrandt Spur in 2010 and is only a tick off the track's all-age trotting record.
Homicide Hunter had a monster year last year at three, winning 16 of 18 starts and $475,677. In his 2016 outings before Saturday, however, the son of Mr. Cantab-Evening Prayer was no better than third. Winning driver Dave Palone, who also was named on Il Sogno Dream and Wind Of The North in the Meadows Maturity, selected Homicide Hunter after consulting with trainer Chris Oakes.
"Chris said, ‘Before you do anything, you better watch the replay of last week,'" Palone said. "He was super last week and finished up real strong. Chris thought if I got him into the race, he was the best horse, and he was."
Homicide Hunter stalked Muscle Up The Goal from the pocket while Il Sogno Dream, stablemate of Muscle Up The Goal, attacked outside. Palone indicated that wrangling the winner into the Lightning Lane wasn't as easy as it looked.
"It's tough to get enough momentum, especially with a trotter, and he was running out a little bit," Palone said. "I had to kind of stuff him in there and make him go at the same time. He finished up very strong."
Homicide Hunter downed Il Sogno Dream by 1-1/2 lengths while Muscle Up The Goal saved show. Michelle Crawford and Albert Crawford campaign Homicide Hunter, who soared over $600,000 in career earnings. (The Meadows)