The 7-year-old gelded son of Dontgetinmyway and Skyway Lori is owned by David P. McNeight's Limerick Racing and is trained by David McNeight, Jr., but his conditioner admits he certainly was not the one that aided the horse’s form.
“All the credit goes to my older cousin Ed McNeight, Jr.,” he said. “He trained and drove him for me at The Meadows. He is an outstanding horseman. I worked for him when I was 16 years old and he is a top class horseman. He made a slight shoeing change to the horse that really improved him. After Eddie did that, he moved much more comfortably and he is the reason this horse went from a $20,000 claimer to win at higher levels.
“He doesn’t drive much anymore, but he has over 3,000 wins in the bike,” McNeight continued. “He uses the drivers at The Meadows who are top class, but I put him up on Skyway in the Preferred there and he got money for us from the outside post and it’s tough in there in that class. If there is something bothering a horse, Eddie doesn’t stop on them until they are right.”
|Paul White photo|
|Dontgetinskyway has won two straight Opens at Buffalo Raceway.|
Dontgetinskyway paced the majority of his 146 miles at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs before surfacing at The Meadows under the care of Ryan Bellamy. The gelding possesses a record of 15-29-29 with a lifetime mark of 1:51.2 established at The Meadows the night he went home to Ed McNeight’s barn. From his six seasons of racing he has amassed $195,557 in earnings and currently captured his last two starts at Buffalo Raceway.
He will try to make it three in a row on Saturday (Feb. 16), when he leaves from post eight in an $11,000 Open Handicap, which is the eighth race on the card. McNeight’s 23-year-old son David McNeight III will be holding the reins.
“When we claimed him at The Meadows, I was looking for a horse to race in the upper classes here at Buffalo,” McNeight said. “I didn’t think about the Opens, but I was looking for a horse of that caliber. What set me on him was he wasn’t a typical Meadows horse. He looked like he could beat the $20,000 horses down there, but he hadn’t been there very long since he came from Indiana. I thought he was worth a shot.
“I liked the way he went and that he finished so strongly in that class,” he continued. “That’s tough to do at the Meadows. It’s a big track with great drivers and trainers. Heck (Ron) Burke is there and he’s top of the line. He really rewarded us when he beat Preferred horses there.”
In his first race over the Buffalo oval on Jan. 19, Dontgetinskyway finished fourth, which was his worst placing at that facility, but there could have been a pretty valid reason for that performance.
“When he came to Buffalo his first start was on a Saturday, because the racing secretary needed him here, after he had just raced at The Meadows on Wednesday,” McNeight explained. “I never do that, but against my better judgment I did.
“Then his second start here he really got a rough trip,” he continued. “David just sits there with him and he really knows how to drive this horse. He gets along with him like he’s been driving him his whole life.”
For now, Dontgetinskyway will continue to contest the Open Handicaps at Buffalo.
“He seemed to like the five-eighths at The Meadows, but I do think the smaller track helps because he’s not a real big horse,” McNeight said. “I think Indiana (Downs) is a mile track and he was a $12,500 claimer there so he stepped up at The Meadows. I don’t know if he’s really stepped up here or if it’s just the company. The meet just opened and it’s soft here right now. I’m winning Opens in (1):57 with him.
"But one thing is for sure, he definitely knows where the top of the stretch is and one thing I can honestly say is I did not improve him. Eddie did.”