Washington, PA – If Friday’s (July 15) $131,506 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows was his audition for the Hambletonian, Keg Stand got the role with ease, pummeling his rivals by 7-1/2 lengths in 1:53. Dandy was nearly as impressive — a 3-1/2-length winner — in the other division of the stake, known as the Super Bowl, for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters.
Keg Stand was promising early in his freshman campaign but ended it on a sour note, breaking stride in his final two races. After an extended vacation, he’s come back to win his first two outings at three, both PASS divisions, which prompted trainer Nancy Takter to offer winning driver Dave Palone a word of advice.
“She said test him, and if he’s any good, we’re pointing him towards the Hambo,” Palone said. “My advice will be, onward and upward. I let him out a notch around the last turn and he responded, wrapped him right back up with the plugs in.”
Keg Stand pushed his career bankroll to $210,718 for owners Black Horse Racing, Christina Takter and John Fielding.
Trainer Frank Ingrassia recalls that Dandy stood so poorly in the sales ring as a yearling that the colt’s co-owner gave his share to Ingrassia on the spot. But Ingrassia and his wife, Jackie Ingrassia, who piloted the son of Cantab Hall-Cocoacabana in the Super Bowl, have brought him along patiently. Now, he’s captured three of the four preliminary PASS legs this year. The $260,000 PASS championship is set for Sept. 3 at The Meadows.
On Friday, Dandy came first over to score in a career-best 1:53.2, with Torrone and Famous Father second and third, respectively. The trainer said he wasn’t worried about the trip.
“He likes to race other horses, so I wasn’t concerned,” he said. “I was concerned when he made the top, thinking that somebody might catch him.”
$40,000 PA Stallion Series — 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters
In Friday’s sub-feature, Emerald’s Legacy prevailed for the fifth time in six career outings while Andoverthewinnings took the other split despite a demanding opening panel that saw him stuck between horses before finding the pocket. That, said winning driver Brady Brown, was the key to victory.
“That first turn was tough,” Brown said. “Guys were protecting their spots, and I was getting stretched a little bit. It helped that I could fall in the two hole before the quarter. When I drove him before, he was a little more bumpy gaited. They changed his shoes, and he’s a totally different horse right now.”
John Butenschoen trains the Explosive Matter-Andover The Prize gelding for Claude Gendreau Stable.
In the $16,000 Open Handicap Trot, Keystone Chaos made it two straight with a determined uncovered move that carried him to victory in 1:53.4. Brian Zendt piloted the 5-year-old Andover Hall-Keystone Cola gelding, who now has banked $153,134, for trainer Jim Daugherty and owner Michele Daugherty.
Saturday’s 11-race program at The Meadows features a pair of carryovers: $3,458.81 in the final-race Super Hi-5, $2,515.06 in the Jackpot Pick-5. First post is 12:45 p.m.