Merriman moves to 997 wins in 2017
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Using Lasix for the second time, Lady Ping rolled to an easy front-end victory in 1:53.1, a career best, in Wednesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows.
Lady Ping won an early duel for the lead with Goodtogo Hanover and easily thwarted the first-over challenge of Panana Republic. She widened in the lane for Dave Palone and downed Goodtogo Hanover by 5 1/2 lengths, with Classical Annie third.
Ron Burke trains Lady Ping, a 5-year-old daughter of Muscle Mass-Ping Putter who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $192,564, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
In Wednesday's co-feature, a $17,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life Trotting Handicap, Crosbys Clam Bake made it two straight with a wire-to-wire triumph in 1:55 for Aaron Merriman and trainer Randy Bendis, who owns with Jack Piatt II and Tom Pollack. The 7-year-old Kadabra-Pacific Elegance gelding extended his career earnings to $551,016.
With five wins on the 12-race card, Merriman lifted his 2017 total to 995 in his quest to become only the fourth driver with 1,000 victories in a single season. He won two races later Wednesday night at Northfield Park, bringing him to within three of the 1,000-win season.(The Meadows)