Like Clockwork timed in 1:52.2 in Keystone Classic
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"I wanted to race him out of a hole," Wilder said. "I've been putting him on the lead because it's just worked out that way. He stepped up to the plate every time. But he's tremendous out of a hole. He just loves a target."
Like Clockwork and Wilder dropped in fourth, followed live cover and poured it on late to triumph in a career-best 1:52.2. Early leader Ideal Flip was second, 1 1/4 lengths back, with Iluvtomakemoney third. Angela Porfilio sent out Like Clockwork for owner/breeder Birnam Wood Farms.
Wilder noted that Like Clockwork has several stakes remaining, including the Breeders Crown.
"I'm not saying he's that kind of horse, but he sure hasn't shown me he's not, either," Wilder said. "It might sound crazy, but if they would go a 1:21 (three-quarters), they would never get away from him. Who knows what he could do?
Wes Delight was hammered down to 1-9 off his third-place finish in the PA Sires Stake championship, and, abetted by a 29.3 second-quarter breather, he lived up to the billing, downing Go West Go Fast by a measured length in 1:53.1, with Yupper third.
"I hadn't driven him before, but on paper, he looked the best, so I wanted to be on the front," said winning driver Tony Hall. "That second quarter definitely helped." Mark Harder trains the son of Bettor's Delight-Maid West and owns with Rick Phillips and Deena Frost.
Saturday's card also featured a pair of events for The Meadow's elite performers. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Fawn De Savage took control with a first-over surge and rolled home in 1:53.1 a life mark, for Dave Palone, trainer Tyler Stillings and owner Fawn De Mon Farms. The 4-year-old daughter of Keystone Savage-Ms Mastercraft now boasts $369,421 in career earnings.
Lincolnjames took the $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, despite a parked-out 26.3 opening panel, for Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The 6-year-old Northwest-Winbak Lucy gelding won for the 23rd time over the past two seasons and extended his lifetime bankroll to $289,927. (The Meadows)