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Zeron Pilots Three To 'Keystone' Records

Published: October 16, 2016 3:11 am ET

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On a brilliant fall Saturday, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino brought down the curtain on its 2016 stakes season with four Keystone Classics for two-year-olds competing for total purses of $460,796.

The freshmen were as brilliant as the weather, as Caviart Wonder, Giveitgasandgo and Caviart Cherie all established stakes records. Scott Zeron sparkled as well, piloting five stakes winners — the three record-setters among them. Zeron’s cache included three victories for trainer Noel Daley and a pair for Caviart Farms.

Highlights of Saturday’s Keystone Classics:

$111,399 Two-Year-Old Filly Pace

The record by Caviart Cherie may have been the most unlikely — she entered the Keystone Classic a six-race maiden. Her trip was improbable as well, as Zeron sent her inside Big City Betty, who was jumping shadows for Aaron Merriman and making Zeron’s winning move more perilous than usual.

“Aaron took the three-wide path to be safe, and I just kind of squeaked up the middle,” Zeron said. “It opened up a doorway for me to take, and my filly responded.”

The daughter of Well Said-Caviart Sarah scored in 1:51.3, eclipsing Robin Cruiser’s previous stake mark of 1:52. Big City Betty settled down to finish second, three lengths back, while Terrortina shot the Lightning Lane for show. Daley conditions Caviart Cherie for Caviart Farms.

Brazuca and V String captured the other divisions. Although Brazuca upset PA champion Agent Q in a Liberty Bell division, bettors sent Agent Q off the favourite. Just as she did in the Liberty Bell, Brazuca zipped to the front for Dave Palone and held off Agent Q by one and a quarter lengths in 1:53. Gotthisone Hanover was third.

“I don’t ever watch the toteboard,” said Tom Cancelliere, who trains the daughter of Bettors Delight-Knock Three Times — acquired as a yearling for $65,000 — for John Cancelliere and plans to send her to the Breeders Crown. “I come with my filly prepared to the best of her ability, and we go. And I’m lucky enough to have Dave driving her. He does a great job with her.”

With four fillies in the hunt late, V String had just enough to hold off Pittstop Danika by three-quarters of a length for Zeron, Daley and owners The OK Corral and Andrew Roberts.

“When I was able to get that second-over trip, I was going to take it every day of the week,” Zeron said. “The flow was nice and solid, and when I asked her to go three-deep, she was great.”

$103,800 Two-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot

There was nothing unlikely about the performance by Giveitgasandgo. It was his seventh straight victory and extended his bankroll to $264,240. He was parked with cover past the quarter, but prevailed in a career-best 1:54.4, erasing the old stake record of 1:55.2 held jointly by Keystone Activator and Pilgrims Taj. The time also equalled Sutton’s track record and is the fastest in this division this year on a five-eighths-mile track. Meteoric was second, beaten half a length, with Monsta Hanover third.

“We definitely went a lot faster fractions than I wanted to,” Zeron said. “But he delivered when it came down to it. I tried to slow him up down the backside to give him a breather at some point in the mile, and I think I almost put him to sleep. He’s a great big horse, so it was hard to start him back up again late.”

John Butenshoen trains the Yankee Glide-Mazda Hanover ridgling for Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, David Miller, Lawrence Means and VIP Internet Stable.

The other division went to Andy M, who broke his maiden in 1:57 for Aaron Merriman, trainer Chris Beaver and owners Mark Moger and Albert Delia Jr. Soho Hanover missed by a nose while Equestrianconxtion completed the ticket.

“He’s high speed, but it’s the end of the year, and he’s starting to feel it a little bit,” Merriman said. “He was a little more bumpy than usual, a little rougher, and I had to help him a little, but he trotted the turns super.”

$119,399 Two-Year-Old Filly Trot

When Caviart Wonder blitzed the front half in :27.2/:56, even Daley, her trainer, figured she would come back to earth.

“Once she did that :27.2, I thought she’d be in a bit of trouble,” Daley said. “She’s a beautifully gaited little thing, and she’s been bomb proof all year. But I didn’t think she was that good.”

Yet Caviart Farms’ daughter of Muscle Massive-Won An Done kept right on truckin’, prevailing in 1:54.2. She lowered Fashion Athena’s stake record of 1:55.1, Frau Blucher’s track record of 1:54.4 and trotted the fastest mile in her division this year on a five-eighths mile track. Dangle Then Deke was five and a half lengths back in second, with Miss Da Line third. Daley said Caviart Wonder, a $20,000 yearling purchase, is eligible for the final of the Kindergarten Series.

Gins Tonic and Crann Tara took the other splits. Gins Tonic had lost all 10 career outings before Mike Simons guided her to a Lightning Lane score in 1:56.3, two and a quarter lengths better than Trixie Dust. Long Driveway earned show.

“We’ve been taking our time with her, and she she’s been in with some really tough horses,” said J. Neal Ehrhart, who trains the daughter of Muscle Massive-Dont Say Dont — an $8,000 yearling acquisition — for Virginia Ehrhart. “So we didn’t abuse her. We raced her where she was comfortable. You’ve not seen the best of her yet.”

Crann Tara ground out a first-over victory for Marcus Miller, trainer Linda Toscano and owner William Donovan, putting away EZ Passer by three-quarters of a length. Lexi Marie finished third.

“It was a pretty measured move,” Miller said of the daughter of Donato Hanover-Shan Riches. “I thought as long as she didn’t make a mistake, she was the best one in there, so I was being pretty careful getting her through the turns.”

$126,198 Two-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace

When Dragnet Alert blazed to a world record 1:49.2 at The Red Mile last week, it was the mark of Sheer Desire and Palone that he wiped out. So there was a poetic touch when Palone swung into the sulky behind him for the Keystone Classic. The Dragon Again-Jettin Jenna gelding responded with a front-end score in 1:52 for trainer Chris Oakes and owner Crawford Farms Racing. Maconupwithedragon was a ground-saving second, one and a half lengths back, with Photobombr Hanover third.

“I think he’d rather chase than be on the lead,” Palone said. “He has a lazy way about him. But as soon as they came to him, he swelled up. I just didn’t want to take any chances.”

In his division, Eddard Hanover matched that time with a front-end score for Mike Wilder, two and a half lengths ahead of the rallying Mikes Z Tam. Northwest Yankee earned show.

“I got to drive him on Adios Day, and he really raced huge. He circled the field and got nailed in the lights,” Wilder said. “Today, I wanted him on the point if I could get there, and he was great. He grew into a nice colt.”

Ron Burke trains the Dragon Again-Edra Hanover gelding for Burke Racing Stable, JJK Stables, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

Summer Side, the 1-5 favourite, had to fight off a stiff challenge from Point Somewherelse to down him by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.4, with early leader Cinnabar Dragon third. Zeron drove the son of Well Said-Beachy Lady for trainer Ray Schnittker, who owns with Howard Taylor. Summer Side now boasts a career bankroll of $161,936.

“It became a duel down the lane, and my horse was never on the front before,” Zeron reported. “He was a little lazy up there. It was an all-out stretch drive, and it made for a great race.”

(With files from The Meadows)

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