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Adios Eliminations In The Books

Published: July 22, 2017 4:45 pm ET

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The field is set for the 2017 Delvin Miller Adios after two $25,000 eliminations went postward on Saturday (July 22) at The Meadows.

As expected, Huntsville delivered as the 1-9 choice in the first of two Adios eliminations but the margin of victory wasn't what many would have anticipated.

Highalator (Dave Palone) grabbed the early lead in the first elim before yielding to Blood Line (Mark MacDonald) in :26.2. Huntsville had yet to see the rail after driver Tim Tetrick floated him away from the outermost post seven, and kept advancing through the opening quarter on the outside before eventually clearing to the lead just past the three-eighths point.

Huntsville was in front of the field through the :53.4 half, but wasn't allowed to settle and slow the pace. Pressure came in the form of RJP (Yannick Gingras), who looked Huntsville in the eye through the 1:21.2 third station and around the final turn. Tetrick asked Huntsville to dig deep heading for home, faced with new threat Blood Line up the passing lane and Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley) off cover. Huntsville maintained his lead and hit the wire first, a quarter-length the best over Blood Line and Miso Fast in 1:49.3 -- the fastest mile at The Meadows this year despite the sloppy-rated surface.

RJP finished fourth to advance with Highalator -- the richest of the fifth-place finishers -- also moving on.

“When you go a half in :53 on an off track, you’re always concerned,” Tetrick said. “It’s not really what I wanted to do. I thought I would get a spot in the first turn, but it closed up. But he got it done, and he’s going to the final. Hopefully it didn’t take too much out of him. I was trying to save as much as I could -- that’s why I didn’t open it up. He was awesome. He got brutalized to the half, and he got the job done. The horse raced super.”

Huntsville is trained by Ray Schnittker, who co-owns the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show with Ted Gewertz, and Steven Arnold. Now six-for-eight on the season, Huntsville has won 13 races in his 19-race career and boasts more than $1.4 million in purse earnings.

The second elimination also featured a heavy favourite in the form of North America Cup champ Fear The Dragon. Driver David Miller settled the sophomore away in third from post three while Hurricane Beach (Dan Dube) had the field strung out through a :26.4 opening quarter and :55 half.

Heading into the backstretch, the field was still in single-file alignment until Miller right-lined Fear The Dragon from third to advance. Hurricane Beach maintained his lead through the 1:22.1 third station but that two-length margin diminished rapidly and disappeared shortly into the stretch. Fear The Dragon was on top heading for home but wasn't clear as Western Hill (Dave Palone) tipped off his cover and took a shot at the favourite. Fear The Dragon would not be denied, victorious by three-parts of a length in a 1:50.3 mile. Eddard Hanover (Tim Tetrick) completed the triactor with Hurricane Beach also advancing to the Adios final by virtue of his fourth-place finish.

The win was Fear The Dragon's eighth this year in nine starts for trainer Brian Brown and Bruce Trogdon's Emerald Highlands Farm of Mount Vernon, Ohio. With 13 wins in 20 lifetime starts, Fear The Dragon sits just shy of $1.1 million in career purses.

While it was a successful, determined performance from the colt, Brown characterized it as “a little dull.”

“Normally, when David pulls him and pulls the plug, he’s really pacing forward,” Brown said. “But David was chasing, he was working to make him go. I hope he was just a little short and needed the race. I’ll check everything out -- scope and pull blood and do all the normal stuff. I hope everything checks out; if not, we’ll fix whatever it is.”

Brown later reported that a post-race examination found an insignificant amount of mucous in the horse’s lungs.

The connections of Huntsville and Fear The Dragon will draw and select their post positions. The rest of the field will be drawn by lot on Tuesday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. The draw will be available on Meadows Live! and meadowsgaming.com.

The $400,000 Adios final set for Saturday, July 29 anchors an afternoon card that features six Grand Circuit stakes. Post time that day is 12:00 noon.

Done Well Undefeated In Pennsylvania Sires Stakes

Done Well did well again, extending his career unbeaten streak to three with an impressive win in Saturday’s $159,165 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event for freshman colt and gelding pacers, known as the Albatross, was contested over three divisions, with Closing Statement and Pedro Hanover taking the other splits. Tim Tetrick enjoyed a PASS double behind Done Well and Pedro Hanover.

Done Well had won two stakes with mid-pack moves, but Tetrick sent him to the front from post eight. It took the entire first quarter for him to pocket Karpathian Kid, but he easily kept him there to down him by two lengths in a stake-fastest 1:52 over a sloppy surface. Better Watch Out earned show.

The victory contributed to a big day for winning trainer Brian Brown, whose top-ranked three-year-old, Fear The Dragon, won an Adios elimination on the card.

“We’ve had lots of horses in the past who looked great and trained down great,” Brown said of the son of Well Said-Dagnabit Hanover. “But this one has never disappointed us. We’ve loved him from the beginning.”

James Stambaugh, Wingfield Brothers, Milt Leeman and Alan Keith campaign Done Well, a $45,000 yearling acquisition.

Closing Statement also was stuck outside during his first panel, but he was strong enough to hold off the previously undefeated Kwik Talkin by a length in 1:52.4 for David Miller. Early leader Lucky Leonard completed the ticket.

“I wasn’t worried about the first quarter,” said Joe Holloway, who conditions the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Ideal Newton, a $120,000 yearling acquisition for Val D’Or Farms, Rojan Stables and Ted Gewertz. “I thought that was just David waiting until things settled down.”

Pedro Hanover broke stride from post eight in his last start yet rallied strongly outside to finish third. He was flat and even more powerful from post eight in the Albatross, plucking off horses to score in 1:52.2 for trainer Andrew Harris and Ontario-based owners Brad Gray and Denise Guerriero.

“That break last time, that was just some green stuff,” Tetrick said. “He showed what he could do.”

In the $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, the pocket-sitting Hawks Red Chief out-kicked his stablemate, Lincolnjames, to beat him by one and a half lengths, with Techtor Hanover third. Yannick Gingras drove for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Michelle Tanek. With the victory, the six-year-old I Scoot Hanover-Fancy Trouble gelding vaulted over $200,000 in career earnings.

Dave Palone and Tetrick each collected four wins on the 15-race card.

(With files from The Meadows)


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