Wild Wind fastest in PASS
June 29, 2007
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Wild Wind breezed through the Lightning Lane to capture the fastest division of a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters on Thursday night at The Meadows, posting a 1:55.4 clocking, and Monkey Bones (1:56.3) and Fraternity Party (1:58.1) took other splits.
The $89,081 stakes, also known as the Hickory Smoke, was contested over three divisions. All three divisions were raced over a track rated “sloppy.”
A swift, 1:55.4 victory was posted by Wild Wind, who has quite a number of stakes engagements on his calendar this year. Unraced at age two, Wild Wind began his career with a flourish, winning four-straight overnights at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs before a good second place finish in a Currier and Ives division. But when he broke stride on the lead in the June 18 Keystone Classic, trainer Roland Mallar went to work.
“The track was a little deep that night. I don\'t think he was grabbing it as good as he was in the Currier & Ives,” Mallar said of the son of SJ\'s Caviar. “So we made a couple adjustments this week. I think we got it right.”
In the Hickory Smoke, Wild Wind and Doug Snyder worked out a snug pocket trip behind the heavy favorite, Too Salty, then sped by on the inside to prevail. Offstride late, Too Salty finished second but was disqualified and placed sixth. Gospel and Forever Bachelor were moved up to second and third, respectively.
Mallar said Wild Wind, a homebred for Michael D. Andrew, will be pointed to such stakes as the Colonial and the Zweig.
“With green trotters I don\'t think you know their potential; they dictate that to you,” Mallar said. “For where he has to go, hopefully he\'ll be okay.”
Monkey Bones began his sophomore campaign in tough company, in the rich Goodtimes Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. He finished second in the final, and showed no ill effects from that big effort, making a quarter-pole move in the Hickory Smoke and winning in 1:56.3, by 1-3/4 lengths, over Suited. Grant was third.
Winning driver Stephen Smith said the diminutive son of Andover Hall will pass on such stakes as the Stanley Dancer to aim for the Hambletonian, and possibly the Yonkers Trot.
“He\'s very handy and good on the smaller tracks,” Smith said. “He\'s muscular but not very big, and I don\'t know if he could handle being stretched out that many times at the Meadowlands before the Hambletonian.”
Karen Garland trains Monkey Bones, a $90,000 yearling purchase, for R. Gary Stetson.
By the time Fraternity Party took to the track, the surface was heavy and tiring. Nevertheless, the Andover Hall offspring, trained by Jan Johnson, survived a parked-out first quarter to win on the lead, in 1:58.1. Flying Scotsman was a neck back, in second, with Overhaul third.
“After talking to Jan about the horse, I thought I would be better following someone,” winning driver Dave Palone said. “But when nobody retook, Plan B was to get there as cheaply as possible. I think I got the right numbers. He\'ll make money by putting himself in the right spot in a lot of races.”
Owned by Arden Homestead Stable, Tomas D. Bertmark and Johnson, Fraternity Party has been no worse than second in all nine career starts. (The Meadows press release)