Whiskey Blu stretched his career unbeaten streak to five with an in-hand victory in Thursday’s Dale McConnell Memorial Trot at The Meadows. Massive Stroke took the other $10,000 opening-leg division in the series for three- and four-year-old colts, horses and geldings.
The event honours the memory of Dale McConnell, who earned the nickname “Mr. Trot” for his success developing and campaigning trotters.
Unraced at two, Whiskey Blu launched his career Jan. 21 and has waltzed through conditions; the Southwind Frank-Kendall Blue gelding has rolled up a combined victory margin of 15-1/4 lengths over those five wins. In the McConnell, Dan Charlino — his pilot for all five starts — sent Whiskey Blu to the point at the quarter. He drew away from The Funk late and defeated him by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:56.3. Laramie rallied for show.
Ron Burke trains Whiskey Blu for Burke Racing Stable, Kitefield Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
Palm Springs and Whom Shall I Love each took a $10,000 opening-leg split of this series for three- and four-year-old filly and mare trotters, which commemorates the long-time manager of the 2:00 Club at The Meadows.
Hammered down to 2-5, Palm Springs justified the support with a facile front-end score in 1:58 for Dave Palone, trainer Kevin Johnson and owner Richard Briskey. The four-year-old daughter of Father Patrick-Hot Springs captured her second straight, defeating Elysian Promise and Friday Night Storm.
Whom Shall I Love provided the day’s tote board theatrics, upsetting at 16-1 with a charge through the Lightning Lane for Aaron Merriman and trainer Charley Myers, who owns the four-year-old daughter of Whom Shall I Fear-Bars Dutchess with Randy Stevenson, Dana Phillips and James Phillips. She prevailed in 1:57.1, with early leader Wonmyheart Hanover and Graymatter Hanover completing the ticket.
In Thursday’s $14,600 Open Handicap Pace, Windsong Leo made it two straight for Palone, Burke, and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Phillip Collura. The nine-year-old Jeremes Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding triumphed on the front end in 1:51.1, extending his lifetime bankroll beyond $700,000.
Palone collected five wins and Burke three on the 13-race card.
Live racing at The Meadows continues Friday, first post 12:45 p.m.
(Meadows Standardbred Owners Association)