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Encore Encore Sets Meadows Mark

Published: May 19, 2009 10:51 pm ET

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Encore Encore, a three-year-old colt trotter based at The Meadows who usually races on the road, returned to his home turf with a purpose Tuesday as he captured a division of a $247,790 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes in the track record time of 1:53.3.

The stake, known as the Super Bowl, was contested over five divisions, with Shermans Mountain, Jaavos Boy, Copy Catch and Citation Lindy also winning splits.

Encore Encore, a Bob Key homebred son of Broadway Hall-Keys La Nina, enjoyed a fine freshman season banking $406,365 with such performances as a win in a Bluegrass division and a second-place finish in the rich Valley Victory. His heavy stakes schedule, however, kept him away from The Meadows for 13 of his 15 starts.

“He won his second start here, and I don’t think we ever got to race back here,” said trainer Rich Gillock. “He was pretty heavily staked, and he is again this year. Ideally, he can continue. This is a good start, anyhow.”

In the Super Bowl, Encore Encore spotted the speedy Top Chef three lengths before rallying to nip Keystone Activator by a nose. Top Chef was a clear third. The mile erased the old track record for sophomore colts, the 1:54.1 trotted by SJs Caviar in 2001, and shattered the stake record 1:56 turned in by Pembroke Lane last year. It was the fastest mile this year by a three-year-old trotting colt on a five-eighths mile track.

“He didn’t grow a lot over the winter, but he filled out and matured,” Gillock said. “You saw that today. When they’re head and head in a race, he tries 120 percent. That’s what won him the race right there.”

Jaavos Boy survived a hotly contested first quarter and went on to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:56 for Eric Ledford. And Heez Perfect was a half-length back in second, with Sir Caviar third. It was a career best and the first stakes win for the son of SJs Photo-Hayworth Hanover, a JML Stables homebred.

“After he got to the half in 57, I was confident that he’d make money, but I didn’t know if he’d win,” said trainer Buzzy Sholty. “He’s so green, and he’s been racing against green horses. He’ll sit in a hole fine; it’s a matter of getting better horses in front of him.”

Sholty said Jaavos Boy is ticketed for the Goodtimes at Mohawk Racetrack.

“You have visions of Hambletonian grandeur,” Sholty said, “but I saw those other colts go in 1:53 — and there were three of them across the wire. That’s a pretty big statement. At this point, we’re happy to have a nice sires stakes horse and perhaps a good four-year-old.”

Citation Lindy, a $100,000 yearling purchase, also recorded a career best mark, scoring in 1:55.2 for Ray Schnittker. He defeated Photoforwin by a neck, with Salutation Hanover third. It was a welcome return to form for Citation Lindy, who broke stride in the $181,369 final of the Dexter Cup at Freehold and finished fourth placed third.

“That was driver error,” said Schnittker, who trains the son of Cantab Hall-Benedicta Jet for Citation Lindy Stable. “I pulled the earplugs coming off the turn and should have waited until I got straightened up. I maybe would have been second if I hadn’t done that. Only cost me 50 grand.

“He showed a little guts today. I didn’t think he had a shot when Photoforwin came after him, but it worked out well.”

Does Schnittker have a heavy stakes schedule planned for Citation Lindy?

“I do,” he said, “but I don’t know if the horse does.”

(The Meadows)


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