Wilberforce blew up the tote board Tuesday at The Meadows when he pulled off a 43-1 shocker in the opening leg of the Ken Weaver Memorial Trot for three and four-year-old colts, horses and geldings.
Off stride in three of his last four starts and coming off an unimpressive qualifier, Wilberforce seemed an unlikely candidate for a win. But when Jim Pantaleano moved him first over from fourth, he performed like a betting favourite, gaining steadily before drawing off to score in a career-best 1:56.1. Early leader Fashion Chocolate saved place, 1-3/4 lengths back, with Marty De Vie third.
Kris Rickert trains Wilberforce, a four-year-old Caviar Crown-Rose Run Imprint gelding, and owns with Dale Wareham.
The series honours the memory of the late trainer Ken Weaver, long a fixture at The Meadows and on the PA Fairs circuit.
In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life Trot, Homepage moved uncovered from sixth before surging three wide into the final turn and jogging off for Tony Hall in 1:54.2, a lifetime mark. Anaffairtoremember was second, 5-1/2 lengths in arrears, while ER Ellie earned show.
Andy Rickert conditions the six-year-old daughter of Tom Ridge-Inside Edition, who now boasts $218,461 in career earnings, for Murdock Racing Stable.
Dave Palone piloted three winners on the 15-race card. With a pair of victories, Aaron Merriman pushed his career win total to 7,999 before heading off to Northfield to drive the evening card there.