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Racing Roundup: Seventh Secret parlays a pocket trip to Meadows feature win
Saturday, April 30, 2016 - from harness publicists across North America

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Saturday's (April 30) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from The Meadows, Buffalo Raceway, Vernon Downs. and Saratoga.

Racing Roundup: Seventh Secret parlays a pocket trip to Meadows feature win

Washington, PA---Seventh Secret worked out a cozy pocket trip, then blew by the leader in deep stretch to capture Saturday’s $15,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life Pace at The Meadows.

Chris Gooden photo
Seventh Secret (5) sat the pocket and scored by a head in 1:51.

Aimo Hanover was determined to seat the field, so Mike Wilder guided Seventh Secret to the pocket from post 5. Aimo Hanover turned back the first-over challenge of his stablemate, Easy Again, but Seventh Secret was stronger in the lane, defeating Aimo Hanover by a head in 1:51. David’s Dream finished third.

Dan Altmeyer trains Seventh Secret, a 5-year-old son of Allamerican Native-Secret Song who now boasts $274,211 in career earnings, for Ruth Altmeyer, Eric Hutchison and Heather Wilder.

Aaron Merriman piloted four winners on the 13-race card.

After a brief hiatus, live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, May 7, when the track presents a special Kentucky Derby Day program. Featured are a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters: a $185,000 (est) Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $60,000 (est) Pennsylvania Stallion Series event. First post is 11:25 a.m.

--Evan Pattak

Buffalo Raceway
It was a trip that China Dream ($4.10) couldn't have drawn up any better as the 5-year-old gelding tied his lifetime mark of 1:54 in taking the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (April 30).

With LA Camcharger setting the fractions 28.0, 56.3 and 1:25.2, Western Alumni took over command a quarter mile to pace. But the race was now ready to begin in earnest.

Knocking Around was first over and China Dream was in tow behind as both started to chase Western Alumni around the final turn. Knocking Around (David McNeight III) dropped into the passing lane and China Dream went wide to try and track down Western Alumni.

China Dream (Drew Monti) proved to be the best in the stretch, using a 28.2 final panel to take the half length victory over Knocking Around with Western Alumni (Todd Cummings) rolling into the show spot.

Co-owned by Jack and trainer Maria Rice, China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Art) has now won five times in 12 starts this season, earning $33,400 and $122,993 lifetime.

Todd Cummings, Kevin Cummings and Monti all had doubles in the sulky while Buffalo Raceway's leading trainer JD Perrin had a triple while Chris Naedele and Rice scoring a pair of wins.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night with 11 races set to go to the post at 5 p.m. The card will include two finals of the Claiming Championship Series featuring the filly and mare pacers.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to

--Brian J. Mazurek

Vernon Downs
JK Panache ($8.10) sustained a first-over bid to wear down the odds-on Fireyourguns in Saturday (April 30) evening's featured $8,500 Open Handicap Pace at Vernon Downs, while driver John MacDonald captured five of the evening's 13 races.

In the Open Pace, 1-5 favorite Fireyourguns (Claude Huckabone, III) was stretched out by All Stienam (John MacDonald) through a :25.3 first quarter while Chris Lems waited from well off the pace with JK Panache. On the backstretch, JK Panache commenced a gradual first-over bid, working to within a length of the lead through a :55.4 middle half.

Lems remarked, "At the head of the stretch, I was real confident when he (JK Panache) swelled up alongside Fireyourguns, especially after the fractions they went." After dueling briefly in mid-stretch, JK Panache struck the front and drew off to a length victory in 1:49.2.

"I had to chase him, but once he got a head in front, it was all him," Lems concluded. "He's a real good horse."

Fireyourguns was a game second, while Titus Seelster (Jimmy Whittemore) negotiated traffic to save a best-of-the-rest third.

Trainer Dave Dewhurst co-owns JK Panache, now a 38-time winner, with Philip Hale.

In the second round of the Anthony Farina late-closing series for pacers, JDs Brent N Sheree ($2.10, 1:53.4) completed a sweep of the preliminary legs, posting a 4-1/4 length win in his division in rein to trainer-driver Truman Gale. No Shame Blue Chip ($2.70, 1:52.3) controlled the terms in the other division, edging clear under Brian Connor for a 2-3/4 length win after holding Long Legs Linguine (Fern Paquet, Jr.) at bay.

Defending Miracle Mile driving champion John MacDonald led all drivers with five wins on the night, victorious with Stirling Electra ($2.90, 1:55.1), Fox Valley Cadet ($12.40, 1:52.3), Damon Blue Chip ($8.10, 1:52), Little Man Cam ($28.340, 1:53), and Van Gundy Hanover ($10.20, 1:54.1).

The 50¢ Pick 5 was not hit, resulting in a $405.29 carryover to Friday's card. Post time on Friday (May 6) evening is slated for 6:45 p.m. EDT.

--James Witherite

Saratoga Harness
Real Illusion (Real Desire) scored in Saturday’s Open Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The six year old pacer was making his first start for trainer Jose Godinez after a claim last weekend and Real Illusion paid immediate dividends for his new connections by scoring in the $15,000 feature. Bruce Aldrich Jr. piloted Real Illusion who wound up first over in a race that featured first half fractions of 26.0 and 54.0.
Real Illusion stopped the timer in 1:59.3 in the 1 1/16 mile Open as the race’s 7-5 betting favorite. 

Grand Galop Semalu (Mark Beckwith) was the runner up in the Saturday feature while Whogoesfirst (Stephane Bouchard) earned the show spot. The exacta with 26-1 longshot Grand Galop Semalu second returned $74.50 and the triple paid $334.

Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a pick five carryover of $2,731. The matinee begins at 12:15 p.m.

--Mike Sardella 

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