Forced to retreat early, defending Pennsylvania champion Fulton rallied to a career-best 1:49.2 victory — his fifth straight — in Saturday’s (May 6) Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows. Ken Hanover, Annapolis Hanover and Bamboozler also scored in the stakes known as the Bye Bye Byrd, which kicked off the stakes season at The Meadows.
The track’s Kentucky Derby Day card also featured a PA Stallion Series event; combined, the two stakes for sophomore colt and gelding pacers offered more than $245,000 in purses.
Making his seasonal debut after two sharp qualifiers, Fulton tried for the early lead but had to find a spot third when the pacesetters wouldn’t release him. But the son of Heston Blue Chip-Bettor Be Steamin followed the cover of the well-meant Flite Craft and roared past in the lane, defeating him by 1-1/2 lengths. Admiral Hill finished third.
“It was a great start,” said Linda Toscano, who trains Fulton for Let It Ride Stables and Bottom Line Racing LLC. “Dexter’s so smart that when he saw how fast they were going out of there, he decided to go the opposite way and give him a trip. Not to have to be on point the first start is always good. He came back with the plugs still in.”
Tosacno indicated the next start for Fulton, who now has banked $288,085, is to be determined.
David Miller worked a dream trip for Ken Hanover, who sat patiently in third before shooting through the Lightning Lane and scoring in 1:49.4, a lifetime mark. Ervin Hanover, who endured a three-wide backside journey, was 1-1/4 lengths back in second, with All Class third.
“He was really good at Chester the other day. He was in hand, so I’m not really surprised today,” said winning trainer Roland Mallar. “For me, I staked him up pretty good. He has everything in Pennsylvania as well as the Hempt, the Adios and the Jug.
Mallar owns the son of Captaintreacherous-KJs Justine, who boosted his career bankroll to $181,601, with Patrick Leavitt, William Jordan and Dennis Osterholt.
It appeared that Annapolis Hanover might be sunk early, as he was forced to drop in fourth after a parked-out opening panel. Then, when Hunter Myers sent him first up, he lost ground on the leader. But the fleet arrived late, and the Stay Hungry-All Night Long gelding found his best foot in the stretch and prevailed in 1:52.3. Nazare shot the Lightning Lane for second, beaten a neck, while Just Bet It All completed the ticket.
“No matter what happens, he closes well,” said owner-trainer Mitchell York. “I think you saw that today.”
Annapolis Hanover lifted his lifetime earnings to $260,183
$100,000 PA Stallion Series — Three-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers
More Than Ya Know, who had never won a stakes, was a powerful 1:50.3 victor in Saturday’s sub-feature, lowering his mark for Yannick Gingras by three and two-fifth seconds. Also winning splits were Girldad, Lyons Spirit, Panettone Hanover and Idiosyncratic. Gingras enjoyed a stake four-bagger, including three wins for trainer Ron Burke.
More Than Ya Know added Lasix three back and Tim Twaddle, who conditions the Stay Hungry-My Fleet Delight gelding for Thestable Morethan Yaknow, said that’s been a factor in his improvement.
“Lasix is a part of it, maturity is a part of it,” said Twaddle. “I think you’ll see them keep him in where he can win.”
Live harness racing at The Meadows resumes Wednesday, May 10, with first post at 12:45 p.m. (EDT).