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Suit And Tie Wins Currier And Ives Stakes

Published: June 6, 2015 8:08 pm ET

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Suit And Tie was dressed for success in Saturday’s Currier & Ives open division at The Meadows, promenading through the Lightning Lane to earn a narrow victory in the $119,565 stakes for three-year-old trotters.

Suit And Tie had won only two of his previous 21 starts and was somewhat overshadowed by his stablemate, Boots N Chains, who also started in the Currier & Ives. But John Butenschoen, who trains Suit And Tie for William Wiswell and M And L Of Delaware, said the rangy son of Andover Hall-Warrawee Krisp came back a stronger horse at three.

“Last year, he had as much talent as Boots N Chains,” he said. “Mentally, he just wasn’t there. At the end of the year, he started to come around. He filled out and developed mentally and physically. Today, he pretty well exploded. I was happy to see that.”

In the Currier & Ives, Boots N Chains had to work hard for the lead, securing it at the three-eighths, and was pressured by the first-over Chef Lee. That set the stage for Suit And Tie’s rally, as he poured through for Aaron Merriman and scored in a career-best 1:54.1. Shoot The Thrill, who was pushed four-wide through the final turn, trotted wide gamely, but came up a nose short while Boots N Chains saved show.

Butenschoen said his $30,000 yearling acquisition will remain in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes and also is eligible for the Hambletonian, the Earl Beal Jr. and the Colonial, among other stakes.

In the companion feature on Saturday’s special Belmont Day card, a $181,766 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for sophomore colt and gelding pacers known as the Bye Bye Byrd, Lost For Words made it three straight in PASS action — and four in a row overall — when he overcame post nine to prevail in 1:50.1.

Winning driver David Miller had Lost For Words outside for the entire :27 first quarter, but Miller said he wasn’t unduly concerned.

“Had there been a spot, I would have taken it,” Miller indicated. “They weren’t going really big. He can leave much faster. He’s one of the better ones in the sires stakes, that’s for sure.”

Lost For Words cruised home without a serious challenge, defeating Blood Brother by two and three-quarter lengths, with Rufo third. Brian Brown, who conditions the son of Well Said-Thou Shalt Not for County Club Acres, William Robinson, Richard Lombardo and Strollin Stables, said he’s unable to pinpoint the exact reason for Lost For Words’ impeccable start to the year.

“Maybe he’s a touch sounder — not that he was bad last year,” Brown said of his $50,000 yearling purchase. “I really can’t explain it. He’s not a great, big strong horse who’s just coming to his own. He’s just a good little horse.

But if Brown is at a loss for words about Lost For Words, that’s about the only thing he’s lost at The Meadows in 2015. In 15 starts at the track this year, Brown is 10-3-1 for an eye-popping .800 UTR.

He said he didn’t pay Lost For Words into the North America Cup or Meadowlands Pace lest those tough tests wear him down. Instead, he’s pointing his colt to the Max Hempt.

In the other division, My Hero Ron was making his first start for his new connections — trainer Ron Burke, owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr and Frank Baldachino — who purchased him for $130,000 at the recent Meadowlands sale. He returned immediate dividends, shooting the Lightning Lane for Matt Kakaley to triumph in 1:50.4. PV Coming Home was second, a half-length back, while Rise Up Now completed the ticket.

Still, it was no slam dunk, as PV Coming Home and Merriman grabbed a daylight lead with a backside burst that left My Hero Ron two and a half lengths behind at the top of the stretch.

“My horse actually was loaded,” Kakaley said. “Aaron’s horse looked like he was getting a little weak, so I thought I could reel him in. Marcus Miller, who had been driving this horse, told me the horse is lazy. So I figured, a barn change to Ronnie, and he might wake up a little bit. And he did. Like Ronnie said last year about a filly I drove for him, ‘It’s penthouse or outhouse.’”

Tony Hall piloted five winners on the 13-race program.

(The Meadows)


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