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Meadows Hosts Keystone Classic Splits

Published: October 6, 2009 12:08 am ET

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Triumphant Caviar followed up his World Record performance in Delaware, OH with a crisp, workmanlike effort that carried him to a facile victory in a Keystone Classic division Monday at The Meadows.

Garcon took the other split in the $86,200 event for Pennsylvania-bred three-year-old colt and gelding trotters, giving Dave Palone a driving sweep in the stake.

Triumphant Caviar triumphed in 1:54.2 in a division of the Old Oaken Bucket, fastest ever for a sophomore trotting colt on a half-mile track, but drew in Monday with Keystone Activator, who captured the other Old Oaken Bucket split. The duel between them never materialized as Keystone Activator broke stride at the start, leaving Triumphant Caviar to toy with the field.

Palone sent him to the front with a quarter-pole move, and the son of SJs Caviar-ENS Tag Session drew off to win by more than three lengths over Basic Common Sense, with Shibboleth Hanover third. The time of 1:55.3 was a tick off the stake record established by Pine Chip in 1993.

“He always wants to race,” said Chris Beaver, who trains Triumphant Caviar for Kerry Beaver, James Gallagher, Luc Ouellette and Paul Bernard. “I’m real happy with where he’s at now. He’s getting stronger, sounder, better gaited. He acts like he’ll be a good aged horse. He’s the first world champion I’ve had. I couldn’t have anticipated he’d be this good, but I always think they can be real good horses no matter what I pay for them.”

A $13,000 yearling purchase who now has banked $341,993, Triumphant Caviar is being pointed to the Breeders Crown and the Matron. Beaver said he may race the horse at The Red Mile to give him the opportunity for a fast mark on a mile track.

Primarily a closer for most of his career, Garcon shot to the lead from the rail position for Palone, then settled comfortably into the pocket behind 4-5 favourite Salutation Hanover, the 2009 Pennsylvania Sires Stake divisional champion. Garcon blew by in the Lightning Lane to down Salutation Hanover by just over a length in a career-best 1:56. Tagyoureit Hanover was third.

“During the summer when he should have been making money, he started making breaks,” said Leslie Zendt, who trains and owns the gelded son of SJs Photo-Shimette with her husband, Bill Zendt. “We changed the hopples, changed the shoes, did everything, and we still don’t know why he was running. He just kind of got over it. He’s eligible to the Matron. If he keeps getting sharper as some of the others get a little more beat up, we’ll see.”

The win sent Garcon, a $12,000 yearling acquisition, over $100,000 in career earnings.

In the $27,500 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, Jans Luck found herself in unusual circumstances. Though she had collected 26 victories over the last two years, she hadn’t visited the winners’ circle since June 29. The five-year-old daughter of Camluck-Jans Scooter decisively ended that streak with a Lightning Lane triumph in 1:52 for Palone. Natalie raced well first over to be second while Osbornes Gypsy, who lacked room throughout, was third.

Ron Burke trains Jans Luck, who pushed her career bankroll to $731,788, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, JJK Stables and M1 Stable.

Palone drove five winners and Eric Ledford four on the 16-race card. It also was a big night for the Zendt family including two training wins for Bill — son Brian was aboard for both — to complement Garcon’s victory.

(The Meadows)

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