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Im Your Captain fastest in $78,698 Keystone Classic at The Meadows
Monday, September 24, 2018 - by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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Washington, PA --- Im Your Captain converted a lengthy quarter-pole move to victory in 1:53.4, fastest in Monday’s (Sept. 24) $78,698 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. The stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters was contested over three divisions, with Mississippi Storm and Make It A Double taking the other divisions. Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller made it a double, indeed, with Im Your Captain and Make It A Double.

 
Chris Gooden photo
Im Your Captain wins the fastest division (1:53.4) of the Keystone Classic.

Im Your Captain entered the Keystone Classic off a victory in the Old Oaken Bucket at Delaware and Miller drove him as if he were the best, launching that quarter-pole move from fourth.

“I thought he was as good as anything in there,” Miller said, “and I just didn’t want to rush him out of the gate and make a mistake. So I just moved him up the front side and he did the rest. He finished with his earplugs in and kind of coasted. I just kept him to his task.”

The son of Muscle Hill-Frisky Strike drew off late to down Jackie’s Jim by 3-3/4 lengths, with Meadowbranch Ricky third. Andy Miller Stable and Black Horse Racing campaign Im Your Captain, who boosted his career bankroll to $128,373.

Mississippi Storm also entered the Keystone Classic off a strong performance — a victory in a Liberty Bell split — and he had little trouble muscling to the early lead and scoring in 1:54.2, a life mark. The pocket-sitting Mr Contestant was second, 2 lengths back, while Rich And Miserable rallied for show.

“I’d never driven him before, so I didn’t know what to expect,” said winning driver Jim Pantaleano. “He was very handy. I kicked out the plugs at the head of the stretch, and he still had plenty left. I was happily surprised.”

Tom Fanning conditions the Cantab Hall-Mississippi Beauty gelding, who now has banked $153,908 for Joseph Smith.

Make It A Double stretched out 3-5 favorite Scirocco Rob before yielding to the pocket. That might have been the decisive move, as the Donato Hanover-Dodger Blues gelding overtook Scirocco Rob near the wire and defeated him by a length in 1:54.3. Stonebridge Gamble completed the ticket.

“I was stuck between horses and I wanted a two-hole trip, so I kept going,” Miller said. “I had to use my horse and make the favorite work a little to get where I wanted to be. The horse trotted good late.”

Make It A Double lifted his lifetime earnings to $94,011 for Andy Miller Stable, Jason Allen and Douglas Allen. Miller indicated Im Your Captain and Make It A Double would be pointed to the Simpson for their final starts this year.

In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, Classicality zipped to the front from post 8 and collected a comfortable 2-1/2-length victory in 1:55.1 for Brian Zendt and owner/trainer Lisa Dunn. The 8-year-old Classic Photo-Penn Worthy Lane gelding won for the 50th time in his career and extended his career bankroll to $647,812.

Stake racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the card features a $75,700 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old filly trotters. First post is 1:05 p.m.


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