Washington, PA --- On Friday (Sept. 13), The Meadows will host the $1.24 million Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships for 3-year-olds, which highlight a card offering more than $1.34 million in purses.
Each of the four championships includes a $260,000 final and a $50,000 consolation, with the finals going as race six and races seven-ten. First post is 6:55 p.m.
|Spider Blue Chip leads the field in the PASS final for 3-year-old male trotters on Friday.|
The colt and gelding trot offers an intriguing scenario, as Spider Blue Chip, one of the division’s hottest performers, tries to rebound from a break in the Zweig, but must face a trio of toughies from the Jimmy Takter stable. Spider Blue Chip, who captured a Hambletonian elimination and the $500,000 Colonial before his misstep in the Zweig, has banked $512,113 this year, fattest seasonal bankroll in the field. He was promising at two until he was bumped in a race and appeared to take it to heart.
“He started making breaks, and it got so he didn’t want to try,” said Chuck Sylvester, who trains the Andover Hall-Southwind Catlin gelding -- a $60,000 yearling purchase -- for David McDuffee and Melvin Hartman. “We thought he was being ignorant, so we castrated him and turned him out. Turned out he had popped a gravel in his left hind and we didn’t know it.”
Sylvester called the break in the Zweig freakish.
“For some reason, he got crooked leaving out of there and got on the left line,” he said. “We checked him out, and he’s fine. He trained super Tuesday.”
Spider Blue Chip goes from post eight with Ron Pierce.
Although all three Takter trainees -- Bluto, High Bridge and Dontyouforgetit -- will leave inside him, the trio combined for only one victory in August, a DQ-aided win by Bluto in a PASS leg at The Meadows. Dontyouforgetit shares the track record of 1:55.2 for 2-year-old colt trotters, a mark he achieved while winning last year’s PASS championship.
“High Bridge is my very best chance,” Takter said. “He’s in very good shape. Dontyouforgetit qualified well; the Hambletonian was a very tough race for him. He’s small, but he’s a survivor. Bluto is very consistent.”
Bluto (Andy Miller) goes from post four while High Bridge (Yannick Gingras) and Dontyouforgetit (Dave Palone) leave from posts five and six, respectively. Takter’s horses will race as separate wagering interests.
The field is without points leader Valley Of Sin, sidelined with a broken bone in his foot.
Other things to watch for in the PASS championships:
Takter isn’t the only trainer with three shots in a single championship, as Chris Oakes sends out Classic Martine, Lady Broadway and Frau Blucher in the final for filly trotters. Classic Martine (Tim Tetrick, post four), a mid-season acquisition for the Oakes stable, finished second to Bee A Magician in the $500,000 final of the Hambletonian Oaks but hasn’t raced since her Aug. 16 PASS win at The Meadows. Frau Blucher (Pierce, post eight), the 2012 PASS champion, holds the track record of 1:54.4 for freshman fillies. If Oakes smokes, the rest of this field may be sucking fumes. The trio will compete as separate wagering interests.
Despite a fine season, last year’s freshman filly pacing champion, Somwherovrarainbow, has been overshadowed by her rival, I Luv The Nitelife, who ranks third in this week’s harness racing Top 10 and defeated Somwherovrarainbow in the $350,000 Valley Forge on Aug. 17. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Rainbow Blue (post three, Montrell Teague) will be trying to restore some of her luster and send her career earnings over $931,000 with a victory.
As part of Friday’s festivities, The Meadows will conduct an on-track handicapping contest for Racing Player Rewards members. Grand prize is two tickets to the VIP Hospitality Tent at the Little Brown Jug on Thursday (Sept. 19), as well as $150 cash for the trip to Delaware.