Captain Fear Not missed his chance at Pennsylvania’s title due to sickness, but he rebounded nicely on Saturday (Sept. 16) at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows, capturing a division of a Keystone Classic.
Captain Fear Not won a pair of PA Sires Stake events and might have been one of the favourites in the Sept. 2 championship for $252,000. But Kathe Troy, who owns and trains the Captain Crunch-Mikayla Rose gelding, realized his health wouldn’t allow it.
“He had a temperature of 103,” said Troy. “It was an easy decision to make, but it was a real hard decision to make. It was heartbreaking. I said to [winning driver Jeremy Indof], ‘Give him a shot. Don’t baby him. Babying him is my job.’”
Indof was obediently aggressive, barrelling to the point before the quarter. Captain Fear Not showed no lingering effects of his illness, defeating Syed Ali K by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51.4, with Single Action third.
Troy said the victory wraps up the youngster’s freshman campaign.
Dublin Dasher took the other $41,150 split in the stakes for freshman colt and gelding pacers.
Dublin Dasher hadn’t been in a stakes before, but that didn’t keep Jim Pantaleano from hustling him to the front for trainer Hunter Oakes and owners Alan Johnston and H O Racing Inc. The Always B Miki-DB Blue Chip gelding not only turned aside the first-over challenge of 6-5 favourite Rose Run Zeke, but he also wouldn’t allow the pocket-sitting At Ease Hanover to get closer than 1-3/4 lengths at the wire while winning in a career-best 1:51.4. War Machine completed the ticket.
“I drove him early on when Hunter was just stating with him, so I knew the horse had a lot of ability,” said Pantaleano. “He was just having colt issues. I spoke with Hunter before the race and he said the colt was probably ready to go a big trip.”
Ordained and White Shoe Hanover each won a $40,050 division of the Keystone Classic for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters.
Ordained was a seven-race maiden entering the Keystone Classic, but trainer/driver Charlie Norris confidently sent him to the front. The Father Patrick-Chic Chick gelding led every step, downing Splendid by a half-length in 1:56.2. Im Out finished third.
“He had a little soreness problem behind, not soft tissue or anything, but he was just sore,” said Norris. “We’ve been working on him, doing therapeutic stuff, and he’s really sharp right now. He’s always had the speed and the ability.”
Carrie Norris, Bradley Berlin, Jim Zito and Jerald Barris own Ordained, who will be pointed to the Red Mile and Cumberland Run, Kentucky’s new racing venue.
In his stakes debut, White Shoe Hanover, trailed by 4-1/2 lengths at the three-quarters and had to swing extremely wide for the drive; a victory under those circumstances seemed unlikely. But the Greenshoe-Wood Blue Chip gelding kept rolling for Bradley Chisholm and prevailed in 1:56.4. Highly Motivated was second, beaten two lengths, while Two Times The Moni earned show.
“The more room the better with him; he likes to get up the track a little,” said Chisholm. “When the first half came up under :58, I was fairly confident even though I was a few lengths off them. When he had his two qualifiers, we were thinking about coming to the end with him. We didn’t think he would make it at all. One day it all clicked. He’ll definitely be better in six months time.
Nifty Norman trains White Shoe Hanover for Robynlee Reichard.
Anthony MacDonald and trainer Tim Twaddle teamed for three victories on the 14-race program.
The Meadows is dark next week for track maintenance. Live racing resumes on Wednesday, Sept. 27, with first post at 12:45 p.m.
(Meadows Standardbred Owners Association)