|Chris Gooden photo|
|Nitro Nittany was once-beaten in 2013.|
“You have to keep after her, being as sizable as she is,” Raymer said. “She gets sore. Two weeks between starts worked out well for her. We probably should look at that for all Standardbreds. Thoroughbreds aren’t all that wrong when they take 30 days to race a horse back.
“She has all the racing credentials, but if you put her in where they go 1:53 or 1:54, she’ll go with them, but I’m not sure she’ll go there the next week. They’re fit athletes. We don’t have to race them every week to make them fit. If you do, you’re not doing your job as a trainer.”
In the Keystone Classic, Nitro Nittany powered to the lead from post six and won in 1:56.2, with plenty left in the tank. Broadway Socks and Silent Opera K were second and third, respectively.
Juniata Hanover enjoyed a pocket trip behind Harley Momma but was all-out to get past her game rival in the stretch. She finally prevailed by one-half length in a career-best 1:57.3.
“She’s a fighter, and she loves to track a horse down,” said winning driver Dave Palone. “I knew that if I could stay tight off the turn, she’d probably run Harley Momma down. She has a great attitude. She’s the full package.”
Ron Burke trains Juniata Hanover, a daughter of Cantab Hall--Justgotafeeling, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Michelle Yanek and Keith Pippi.
Cantabs Fortune overcame injuries earlier in the season and now has won three straight for Rick Zeron, who drives and trains the daughter of Cantab Hall--Incredible Fortune -- a $22,000 yearling acquisition -- for Rick Zeron Stables, Paul Marion and Ferme Rico Limitee.
“We had some issues with her when we brought her down from Canada, but we got those taken care of, and she’s been going uphill ever since,” Zeron said. “She was a little hot when I first started with her, but now she’s calmed down. She’ll be a real nice filly at three. I’m comfortable for next year.”
In the Keystone Classic, she quarter-poled to the lead and prevailed in 1:57.1, two lengths better than Ruby. Sally Savannah earned show. Zeron said the ownership team will consider Cantabs Fortune for the Breeders Crown.
Palone and Eric Ledford each drove three winners on the 15-race card.
Stakes racing at The Meadows will resume Friday with a $120,000 (est.) Keystone Classic for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Post time will be at 12:55 p.m.