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Sammy Jackson upsets at odds of 21-1 in Meadows Series final; Wrenn Jr. wins five
Saturday, April 21, 2018 - by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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Washington, PA --- Sammy Jackson, who hadn’t hit the board in any of his three previous career starts, found the addition of hopples to his liking, as he pulled off a 21-1 shocker in Saturday’s (April 21) $27,200 championship of the Ben Wood Memorial Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings at The Meadows.

The Ben Wood was one of four finals for late-closing series for sophomores The Meadows hosted Saturday. Other winners were Return Of The Sith, E Dee’s Well Said and Perfect Image.

Sammy Jackson scores in a 21-1 shocker at The Meadows on Saturday afternoon.

Ronnie Wrenn Jr. earned a pair of titles behind Return Of The Sith and Perfect Image, among his five wins on the 13-race card.

With Sammy Jackson’s new rigging, trainer/driver Bill Fahy was confident enough to leave for early position, landing him in the three hole. When Fahy moved him wide in mid-stretch, he roared past the leader, What A Hunk, to down him by a neck in 1:57.4. Crown Court was a ground-saving third.

The new-look Sammy Jackson remained so fired up after his victory that it took four experienced horsemen to remove his sulky.

“He’s usually not that bad, but he’s wound up today — first time I’ve left the gate with him,” Fahy said. “He’s getting more racy. The hopples made a difference, but we also did some vet work on him and maybe found a couple spots that bothered him. He wasn’t hiking real bad around the turns. He’s got some go — how much more I don’t know, but he did today.”

Tom Svrcek bred and owns Sammy Jackson, a Donato Hanover-MM’s Lioness gelding.

Highlights of the other championships:

$24,800 Tom Kirwan Memorial Pace — Colts & Geldings
Parked for the opening three-eighths before making the front, Return Of The Sith seemed destined to be engulfed late by his fresher rivals. But the Bettor’s Delight gelding, whose dam, Gothic Lady, was a full sister to Artsplace and herself a winner of $496,047, lived up to his pedigree, dug deep and scored in 1:54.2. Antagonist was second, a half-length back, with His Excellence third.

“I had faith in the horse because of how he raced in his last couple starts,” said Norm Parker, who trains the winner for Megan Rogers Racing Stables. “He’s bred to be a good horse, although you don’t want them to be roughed up so much. But he dug tough.”

Parker said he likely will point Return Of The Sith to the Pennsylvania Stallion Series division of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes.

Chris Gooden photos
Return Of The Sith captures the Tom Kirwan Memorial Pace final in 1:54.2.

$23,900 Ruby Cook Memorial Pace — Fillies
E Dee’s Well Said, the 6-5 favorite, got away poorly from the rail and still was dawdling in fifth, six lengths behind at the half. That’s when Brian Zendt tipped her off the cones and asked her for pace. The daughter of Well Said-Eternity’s Delight was relentless, grinding out a half-length win over Hepburn Hanover in a career-best 1:54.4. Dance For Kisses rallied for show.

“I didn’t expect to get away that bad, but that’s the rail here,” Zendt said. “At least they mixed it up. They got the half in 56, got themselves a little tired, and she could pick them up. She doesn’t have any quit in her. She was still digging at the wire just as fast as I wanted her to.”

Christen Pantaleano trains E Dee’s Well Said for C Jimmy D’s Racing.

$26,000 Margaret Provost Memorial Trot — Fillies
Dismissed at 7-1, Perfect Image found a good early seat for Wrenn and shot the Lightning Lane to pull off the upset in 1:56.1, a length batter than early leader Kenziesky Hanover. The first-over Treasure Dreams completed the ticket.

“I was told she’s a little lazy, so I thought if I could get good position early, she would give me a good go down the stretch,” Wrenn said. “I was lucky enough to squeeze into the two hole. I wasn’t sure if I had enough to get by in the passing lane, but once I got her in there, she took off. She has a lot of upside.”

Doug Snyder conditions Perfect Image, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Hawaiianphotograph, for Frank Poerio, Jr.

Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features two enhanced total-pool guarantees — $17,500 for the Pick-4 (races 4-7), $10,000 for the Pick-5 (races 9-13). First post is 1:05 p.m.

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