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Double Dose Of Arden Downs Stakes

Published: July 30, 2009 11:05 pm ET

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Apparently stalled out first over in the slop, Keystone Activator closed with a dramatic rush to capture a division of a $75,268 Arden Downs stake for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters Thursday at The Meadows.

Salutation Hanover took the other division with a “Lightning Lane” charge.

The event, known as the James Manderino, is part of Grand Circuit Week at The Meadows, which is highlighted by Saturday’s $677,665 final of the Delvin Miller Adios.

Keystone Activator, who briefly held the World Record for freshman colt trotters on a five-eighths mile track, found himself in a less than ideal position - trying to chase down Photoforwin for Eric Ledford with an uncovered bid on a heavy surface. Trainer Jim Raymer, however, said he wasn’t worried when the son of SJs Caviar-Armbro Blusher seemed to bog down.

“He’s a racehorse, and I knew Eric knew he didn’t need to get by down the backside,” Raymer said. “He knew if he waited he still had more horse coming to the wire. The half was good for him because they didn’t rush it. He still prefers the front end. We just haven’t got him there. He makes a mistake, and then you’re cautious.”

Still two lengths in arrears around the final turn, Keystone Activator responded to Ledford’s urging and gobbled up racetrack, defeating Photoforwin by a half-length in 1:55.3. Up Front Prayer was third.

Trillium Racing Stable and Tammie Raymer own Keystone Activator, who pushed his career bankroll north of $200,000. Jim Raymer said he is pointing the colt to the Colonial and the Yonkers Trot.

Salutation Hanover went right to the lead for Brett Miller but yielded to the quarter-pole move of Rembrandt Spur. He brushed by in the Lightning Lane, downing Rembrandt Spur by a head in 1:55.1, with Knoxtrot Hall third.

Even with the good trip, Miller was concerned that Salutation Hanover might not successfully negotiate the heavy inside lane.

“With the track being as bad as it was, I was hoping the Lightning Lane wouldn’t affect us,” Miller said. “If you’d had the choice, it probably was better to go outside. But he responded really well and trotted strong to the wire.”

Ron Burke trains Salutation Hanover, a son of Andover Hall-Swift Kathy, for Burke Racing Stable, Randy Ringer, Frank Baldachino and David Scharf. It was one of three wins on the 14-race card for Miller.

(The Meadows)

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