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Cufflink Hanover sets stakes mark in career debut at the Meadows
Monday, July 06, 2015 - by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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Washington, PA --- Cufflink Hanover enjoyed a dream career debut Monday (July 6) at The Meadows. Not only did he capture a division of a $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event, but he also trotted to a stakes record 1:57.

The stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings was contested over five divisions, with TNT Rusty, Soda Pump, Love To Glide and Will Self taking the other splits.

Chris Gooden photo
Cufflink Hanover trotted to a stakes record 1:57 with David Miller in the bike.

Cufflink Hanover had a pair of qualifiers to prepare for his debut, but in neither was he asked to take air. Winning driver David Miller, who co-owns the Nifty Norman trainee with Enzed Racing Stable, required just that of him, sending him first over from third down the backside. The youngster responded beautifully, wearing down Mr Right and defeating him by 1-1/4 lengths. Meadowbranch Memo finished third.

“He felt real good or I wouldn’t have moved him,” Miller said of the $30,000 yearling acquisition, an Andover Hall-CR Savoire Faire gelding. “But he felt like he was ready to go. He tried to come out of a hole on his own down the backstretch. The second time he did it, I just pulled his earplugs. We kept him eligible to a couple nice races next year, but this year he’ll stay in Pennsylvania.”

The time eclipsed the old mark of 1:57.2 established by Pekoe Fashion in 2011.

Speaking of moving first over to win at first asking, TNT Rusty duplicated that feat when he erased an 8-1/2 length deficit to down the rallying Petrossian AS by a neck for Dave Palone in 1:58.1. Early leader Fiji saved show. It was one of three wins on the 15-race card for Palone.

“I was looking to go out of there with him, but there were a couple guys inside me leaving,” Palone said. “I just wanted to give him a good experience most of all. It couldn’t have worked out any better. He fired home pretty good. He’s a real likeable colt.”

George Ducharme conditions the Explosive Matter-Rusty’s Twizzted T gelding and owns with Paul Fontaine and Alfred Ross.

Soda Pump didn’t have to tough out an uncovered move, as he dominated on the front, triumphing convincingly in 1:57.4 for Aaron Merriman and lessee/trainer Clifton Green. Muscle City was second, 5-1/4 lengths back, with Simplyamonster AS third.

“He’s been a natural from Day 1,” said Green of the son of Cantab Hall-Alot Of Pump. “He’s like a spoiled brat kid -- just plays all the time. He probably needs to be castrated, but we’ll decide that later. I don’t know where his end is. He doesn’t pay attention, but he keeps going. We’ll see how far he goes.”

In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Tamarind made it four straight with a persuasive victory in 1:52.2, matching Sharp Edge’s track record for older horses. The first-over Major Athens was second, 1-3/4 lengths in arrears, while Tall Cotton completed the ticket. Merriman piloted the 7-year-old son of Angus Hall-Spicegirl Kosmos, who now boasts $674,044 in lifetime earnings, for owner/trainer Bill Bercury.

Tuesday’s program at The Meadows features six divisions of the Hickory Pride, a $216,980 PA Sires Stake for freshman colt and gelding trotters. First post is 12:55 p.m.

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