The Meadows hosted the championships of four series on Saturday (March 25), and three of the winners — DDs Comet, Art N Music and Ms Mullen — completed sweeps of the events for three and four-year-olds. The finals offered combined purses of $102,100.
In accomplishing his sweep of two preliminary legs and the $24,700 final of the Ken Weaver Memorial Trot, DDs Comet scored in 1:57.4, a career-best and the fastest this year by a three-year-old colt on a five-eighths-mile track.
It was a sweet victory for trainer Chris Beaver, who owns DDs Comet with Toronto's Synerco Ventures, as he persevered with the son of Crazed-Deedees Destiny after he failed to take a mark in seven tries last year.
“He’s a real professional — he’s hard not to like,” Beaver said. “He showed trotting in 1:57 last year, and he was second in four legs of the Stallion Series, so he showed he could go.”
In the championship, DDs Comet got away third for Aaron Merriman before quarter-poling to the front. He easily held off the pocket-sitting Photo Bomber by a length while Gee Wizz George rallied for show.
Beaver indicated DDs Comet, an $8,000 yearling acquisition, has a moderate stakes schedule this year rather than a full dance card.
“He’s staked pretty conservatively,” Beaver said. “I got a couple that are real killers. He’s not one of them, but he’ll always give a good effort. I think he’ll make money.”
It was one of three wins for Merriman on the 13-race card.
In the other championships:
$27,100 Walter Russell Memorial Pace — Colts, Stallions & Geldings
Art N Music also was a non-factor early in his career; in fact, he didn’t have a purse start at all at two and three. He joined the Ron Burke stable in February and now has ripped off three wins and a close-up second for Burke and his new owners, Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
The Art Colony-Keystone Musical gelding retook the lead at the quarter pole for Dave Palone and cruised home in a career-fastest 1:52.4, two and three-quarter lengths better than the rallying Town Speaker. Dare You earned show.
“Every week Ronnie’s had him a little better than the week before. The way he keeps improving, next week, I’m pretty sure you could win with him,” Palone joked with a reporter. “I think he’ll be an Open/Invitational-type horse down the road. He’s very easy to drive, and every time you ask on him, he goes.”
$25,900 Mary Wohlmuth Memorial Trot — Fillies & Mares
Ms Mullen so dominated that she was on top at every pole but one in her three Wohlmuth races. In the championship, she reached the front past the quarter for Tony Hall and thwarted the determined first-over bid of Stars N Sparkles, downing her by a length in 1:58.2, the fastest win in her eight-start career. Amanda D finished third.
“She was pretty strong when she was challenged — I got to rest her going to the half a little bit,” Hall said. “I was kind of worried about the track being deep today. It’s been kind of tiring her all day. I can’t wait until she gets in against a little better to where I can maybe trip her out. I think eventually, she’ll be a better trip horse.”
Dirk Simpson trains and leases the daughter of Muscle Massive-Kentucky Bluebird.
Hall enjoyed a three-bagger on the Saturday program.
$24,400 Donna Dunn Memorial Pace — Fillies & Mares
Cominagain provided the toteboard fireworks on championships day when she triumphed at 19-1 in 1:54, a life mark, for Dan Rawlings and owner/trainer Gerald Lee Jr. Terrortina, who had won her first two series splits, was second by a length, with Kaks Dragon Attack third.
The decisive move for Cominagain came when she was following cover down the backside but abandoned the flow in favour of a spot on the pylons. That gave her access to the Lightning Lane, where she launched her winning move.
“It looked like the leader was struggling and that I could keep my momentum if I went down on the inside,” Rawlings said. “I didn’t want to have to check her up.”
Lee, who purchased the daughter of Dragon Again-Sharkette Spur following her freshman campaign, said she would be pointed to a series at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.