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Closing Statement should have plenty to say in Saturday's $169,288 PASS opener at The Meadows
Thursday, May 03, 2018 - by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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Washington, PA --- He didn’t reach the championship leg of last year’s Pennsylvania Sires Stakes, but Closing Statement figures to have a lot to say Saturday (May 5) at The Meadows when the PASS kicks off with the Bye Bye Byrd, a $169,288 event for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers.

The Kentucky Derby Day card also features a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore colt and gelding pacers, a $15,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick-4, a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick-5 and a variety of fan-centered events, including drink and beverage specials, live music and raffles. Special post time Saturday is 11:25 a.m.

 
Chris Gooden photo
Closing Statement won five times as a freshman and earned $286,281.

Closing Statement won the PASS consolation, but the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Ideal Newton really started to shine in late-season stakes, finishing third in the Breeders Crown final and second in the Matron Stake while amassing a $286,281 bankroll. Joe Holloway, who trains the $125,000 yearling acquisition for Val D’Or Farms, Rojan Stables and Ted Gewertz, indicates that total could have been higher.

“If he learned to relax, he’d be even better,” Holloway says. “He’s high strung, and I probably raced him one too many times. Those 15 starts last year are more than I’d like for a 2-year-old.

“He’s eligible for all the big ones, but he won’t be able to go with them if he’s still so high strung. Saturday will be the first step to tell me which way I’m going with him.”

Closing Statement prepped for his PASS debut with a pair of qualifiers that couldn’t have been more different.

“He was a little hot the first time,” Holloway says, “so we just took him off the gate and sat in with him the second qualifier. That’s obviously not the way you want to race. He trained well this week, and he’ll be going forward from the gate. He’s up to going where he has to.”

Closing Statement sold as Ian Hanover, but Holloway says there’s no particular significance to his current name.

“Marty Granoff (of Val D’Or Farms) likes to change names. I think he’d like to change my name. I don’t worry too much about names. I once thought the worst name I ever heard for a colt was Jenna’s Beach Boy. By the end of his career, I thought his name sounded okay.”

Closing Statement goes from post three in race eight with Corey Callahan aboard.

Advance wagering for the Kentucky Derby -- and the entire Churchill Downs card -- begins Friday. Derby Day festivities include:

  • Day-long food and beverage specials on the apron beginning at 11 a.m. as well as a buffet at the Carvery Patio
  • The annual Kentucky Derby Hat Contest, at both the track and its Harmar facility, with cash prizes for winners. Registration begins at noon
  • Paddock tours and starting gate rides, courtesy the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association
  • A “losing ticket” raffle for restaurant and betting vouchers and the grand prize -- accommodations at the Cambria Hotel & Suites to enable the winner to enjoy The Meadows’ simulcast of the Belmont, the third jewel of the Thoroughbred Triple Crown
  • A free concert on the apron at the conclusion of the live card. Featured band is No Bad JuJu

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