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Rampage Jackson Speedy In Stallion Stakes

Published: July 16, 2011 12:07 am ET

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Rampage Jackson pulled the pocket around the final turn and roared home to score in a stake-fastest 1:52 in a division of Friday’s $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event at The Meadows.

The stake for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers was conducted over four divisions, with McRusty, Jolly Jubiter and Smile A Little taking the other $20,000 splits. Brett Miller enjoyed a stake double (Rampage Jackson, Smile A Little) among his four wins on the 15-race card.

After dueling successfully for the early lead, Rampage Jackson was pocketed by Voice Of Truth; the cover agreed with him, as he blew by easily in the lane to down Voice Of Truth by four and three-quarter lengths. Upfront Ellijay Ed came from well back for show.

Although it was the third Stallion Series triumph for the Ponder-Miss Yankee Doodle gelding, Ron Burke, who trains him for Wilson Racing Stable and David Yohe, said he needed a good performance to solidify his spot in the championship.

“I almost moved him up to the sires stake, but I don’t think the Stallion Series final was a slam dunk for him,” Burke said. “We had to earn our way in. He tries hard — that’s the best thing about him. He has a couple issues with steering. Once we get those ironed out, he’ll probably be a little better.”

McRusty also notched his third Stallion Series win, using a sustained uncovered bid that enabled him to erase a five-length deficit and nail Scenic Art at the wire in 1:52.4. Border Fighting was a close-up third.

“You have to drive him like a trotter,” said winning pilot Aaron Merriman. “He doesn’t do anything super-quick, so I just let him grind it out. There’s no end to him. He’s very small, and the track is deep tonight. That makes his mile even more impressive.”

Steve Elliott trains McRusty, a son of McArdle-Barely Legal, for Martha Frank and Carter Racing Stable.

Jolly Jubiter provided the surprise of the stake when he got away last, angled off the cones at the top of the stretch and passed them all to pull off a 35-1 shocker for Dick Stillings. Draconian was second, one and three-quarter lengths in arrears, while Laurent Hanover completed the ticket.

John Oliverio trains and owns Jolly Jubiter, a Metropolitan-Candice Hall gelding who grabbed his second Stallion Series victory while using Lasix for the first time.

In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Preferred Trot, PJs Photo used a powerful first-over move for Stillings to score convincingly in 1:54, fastest ever by a four-year-old mare at The Meadows. Hidden Viggorish and SJs Minolta jointly held the previous mark of 1:54.1. Caviar Forthe Lady closed well for second, two and a quarter lengths back, while Hawaiianphotograph rallied for show.

Daren Harvey trains PJs Photo, a daughter of SJs Photo-Big Kora who has won half her 24 lifetime starts, for Pius Soehnlen.

Saturday’s card at The Meadows features the $210,234 Tarport Effrat, a Pennsylvania Sires Stake for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers. As part of the national “Back to the Track” celebration, the program also offers several special races, including a pair of father-son driving events and a “Female Driving Faceoff.” First post is 12:55 p.m.

(With files from The Meadows)

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