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Check Me Out upset in PASS
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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Washington, PA --- Maven, who performed under the radar last year at 2, grabbed a share of the spotlight Tuesday (May 15) at The Meadows when she upset Check Me Out, the 2011 Dan Patch Award winner, in a division of a $274,112 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters.

The event, known as the Stenographer, was contested over four divisions, with Idonette, On The Bright Side and Superstar Hanover taking the other $68,528 splits. Jimmy Takter enjoyed a stakes training double with On The Bright Side and Superstar Hanover.

Chris Gooden photo
Maven lowered the stakes record to 1:53.4.

Maven compiled a fine record at 2, winning seven of 11 starts and $155,594 for owner William Donovan and trainer Jonas Czernyson. But she was overshadowed by Check Me Out, who banked $900,619, captured the Breeders Crown and the Matron and blazed a mark of 1:53.2, matching the fastest mile ever trotted by a freshman--regardless of gender--on a five-eighths-mile track.

In the Stenographer, however, the seasonal debut for both fillies, the daughter of Glidemaster-M Stewart got the jump on Check Me Out with a strong first-over move. Check Me Out and trainer-driver Ray Schnittker followed that cover, but the 12-1 Maven remained strong through the stretch, downing Check Me Out by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:53.4, a Stenographer record. Early leader Cocktail Attire was third.

“She’s always been a nice filly, although she wasn’t staked heavily last year,” said winning driver Yannick Gingras. “She’s always had the speed, but she’s stronger this year.

“Check Me Out has been so impressive that, to be honest with you, I thought I was racing for second. But around the last turn, I was really confident. The whole stretch, it wasn’t even an issue. I never had to urge her. I don’t know where she goes next, but wherever she goes, I’ll be there.”

The upset bug also bit Sand Violent Blu, Pennsylvania’s talented, but intermittently fractious, 2-year-old champion. She banged her head on the starting gate when she rushed it impatiently and thereafter was a handful for Brett Miller. That was all the opportunity Idonette needed. Despite charting an uneven course for John Campbell, she had plenty left in the stretch to move from the pocket and brush past Sand Violent Blu to defeat the champ by three-quarter-lengths in 1:55.2. Real Babe completed the ticket.

“Physically, she’s as strong as anybody; I don’t think that’s a problem,” said Henrik Lundell, who conditions the daughter of Donato Hanover-Ivette for Sisyfos Racing Stable. “It’s just keeping her together and getting her around the turns. She’s sore a little here and there, nothing major. She just runs out in the stretch, and she runs in through the turns. I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping John can take care of that.”

He said Idonette will be pointed to the Casual Breeze and the Elegantimage.

On The Bright Side enjoyed a much less eventful victory, scoring easily on the front end for Dave Palone in 1:55.1. Blue Yonder was second, 3-1/2 lengths back, with Delicious third.

“She has so much pedigree, but she’s kind of over-achieved,” Palone said. “She was kind of an ugly duckling as a baby, but the pedigree always comes out. She came back as strong, as willing and as drivable as you’d ever want one.”

Brittany Farms bred and owns the daughter of Cantab Hall-Passionate Glide.

In the $22,500 Preferred Handicap Trot, Sir Caviar made it two straight with a head victory over Trotslikethewind in 1:53.3. Leslie Zendt trains the 6-year-old SJ’s Caviar-Sierra Flower K gelding, who vaulted to more than $400,000 in career earnings, and owns with Bill Zendt.

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