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Lispatty Sets Stakes Record

Published: October 4, 2016 9:18 pm ET

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Pressured every step of the mile on the lead, Lispatty dug deep late and triumphed in 1:50, establishing a stake record in Tuesday’s $71,600 Keystone Classic at The Meadows.

I Said Diamonds captured the other division of the event for three-year-old filly pacers, giving Jim Pantaleano a stake sweep.

Lispatty no sooner assumed the lead then she was challenged by I Said Please, forcing her to a demanding three-quarters in 1:21.1. Even more ominous, the favourite, Newborn Sassy, was stalking from the pocket, just waiting for an opening to pounce. But the daughter of Mcardle-Lisbella found more, holding off Newborn Sassy by half a length, with Drag N Sand third. The time erased Weeper’s previous stake record of 1:51.

“I was surprised she had so much left because we took a lot of heat,” Pantaleano said, “and (Newborn Sassy) was getting a great trip. She was tired but tried real hard when Newborn Sassy came to her.

Gilbert Garcia-Herrera trains Lispatty, who lifted her career bankroll to $178,125, for Gilbert Garcia-Owen.

I Said Diamonds is so quick from the gate that she usually zips to the top and makes the field catch her. But in the Keystone Classic — her first start since being scratched from the Jugette after an unauthorized person was discovered in her stall — she found herself in the pocket chasing Terror At Night.

“The beginning of the race set up a little goofy, so I don’t think Jim had any choice but to sit there,” said the filly’s new trainer, Christen Pantaleano. “I was a little bit nervous that she wasn’t on the lead, but it worked out good for her.”

I Said Diamonds kicked by Terror At Night in the lane and downed her by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.1 while Yankee Moonshine earned show.

The daughter of Well Said-SilksnDiamonds now has banked $428,857 for A Piece Of The Action LLC. Christen Pantaleano indicated I Said Diamonds has one stake remaining this year and likely will race at four.

At two, Ideal Jimmy was on top of the world, earning $293,185 and Pennsylvania’s divisional crown. He came back to earth this year, beginning his sophomore campaign with 12 consecutive losses. Then, he won a Liberty Bell division at Harrah’s Philadelphia and followed that up with a good second in a tough Yonkers overnight.

In the Keystone Classic, he took another step on the comeback trail, winning on the front end for Marcus Miller in 1:52, a length better than Wagon Master in the Lightning Lane. Arthur Pendragon completed the ticket.

“He just wasn’t himself early in the year, but it seems like he is coming back,” Miller said. “He feels like the old Jimmy that we knew last year. He was a little sick, a little off, just something here and there, but it seems like he’s put it together now.”

Erv Miller conditions the Western Ideal-Armbro Nectarine gelding for owner/breeder D.R. VanWitzenburg.

In the other split, 13-1 More Dragon went from worst to first with a late rally that carried him to victory in 1:52. Fernando Hanover was second, giving trainer Ron Burke an exacta sweep, while Another Daily Copy completed the ticket. More Dragon had experienced recent breaking problems, and winning driver Aaron Merriman feared he would jump it off again.

“He got really, really rough in the last turn,” Merriman said. “I thought I had him, and then I had to gather him up again. His talent overrode it. As soon as he got in the straightaway, he probably paced his last eighth in 12 seconds. He’s extremely fast.”

Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services and David Wills campaign the Dragon Again-Liscaramore gelding, who extended his career bankroll to $139,122.

In the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, Tall Cotton converted a pocket trip to his 40th career victory for Dave Palone, Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Edwin Gold and Howard Taylor. The winner’s stablemate, I Know My Chip, was second, with the favourite, Classicality, third.

Tall Cotton now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $798,141.

Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday when the program features the $160,000 PA Fairs Championships. First post is 1 p.m.

(The Meadows)

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