Sacramento, CA --- After taking a few weeks off, Phantom Dan returns to the wars in Saturday’s Open Pace while taking on the classy Pancetta and the streaking Doc’s Zippy in the main event.
The 6-year-old son of Little Steven is owned, trained and driven by James Kennedy and was last seen capturing the March 22 Open Handicap Pace by a nose over heavily-favored One And Only while lowering his career standard to 1:52 1/5 in the process.
“There was nothing wrong with him,” Kennedy explained. “It’s just that he’d been racing his you-know-what off and I wanted to give him a bit of a break and do a little work on him.”
While Phantom Dan came from last to account for that most recent outing, in his previous victory in a conditioned affair he used front-end tactics to get the job done, putting his versatility on full display. “I’ve learned that he there are two ways to race him,” his mentor noted. “You either leave with him and let him roll, or you duck and let him do his pacing at the end.”
As far as the Phantom Dan you would find around the barn, James describes him as “A Pig”, while wearing a smile on his face. “His happiest times are when he’s in a pen and he can just roll around in the mud. He absolutely loves it. He also eats anything you put in front of him, from donuts to hamburgers.”
Apparently this playful nature and unusual diet agree quite well with the performer, who looks to keep the momentum going this weekend after getting a little R and R at Camp Kennedy.
A reminder that there are three wagers each night that offer a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are, the 50-cent pick-5; the 20-cent pick-4 with a $20,000-guaranteed pool on Friday and a $25,000 guarantee on Saturday; and the 10-cent hi-five on the nightcap.