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Custard The Dragon Impresses In PASS

Published: July 4, 2010 12:38 am ET

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Custard The Dragon was breathing fire in his career debut Saturday at The Meadows, scoring in a 1:52.4 mile that missed the Pennsylvania Sires Stake record by a tick.

The $335,756 event for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers, known as the Albatross, was conducted over six divisions.

Custard The Dragon had barely settled in third along the pylons before Bartlett sent him to the front. The 1-5 favourite responded with speed aplenty, blazing the last quarter in a :27-second clip. He prevailed by 1-1/4 lengths over Vincent Fra, with Storyofmylife a non-threatening third. Another Teague trainee, Bunkmeister, established the stake record in 2008.

“He was going so fast he got a little steppy with me,” said Bartlett of the son of Dragon Again-Eternal Justice. “I was more worried about keeping him together than what was coming. I just had to get him around the last turn. He has a great attitude, and he did it on his own. I never really called on him — didn’t dare to.”

Mystic Desire also was sent off at 1-5, and he, too, made the front with a quarter-pole move for Dave Magee. The son of Real Desire-Cannes Festival, who captured his career debut at Balmoral Park, was even sharper in the Albatross, winning in 1:53.1 and shaving two seconds from his mark.

“He’s expressed class right from the start,” Magee said. “He’s handled real well. He’s been quick, but he’s been relaxed as well. Today, he was a little more aggressive than he has been. I think he’s ready for whatever comes next.”

Hugadragon was 2-1/2 lengths back in second, with Real Trell third. Shawn Nessa trains Mystic Desire for Angie Nessa and Jerry Stepter.

First-time starter Something For Doc took a different path to victory, moving first over to subdue the leader, Three On Three, who was hammered down to 1-9 as part of a Teague entry. Something For Doc was strong through the stretch in a performance that his trainer, Brian Brown, wasn’t expecting.

“He kind of surprised me when he came first over and kept on going,” Brown said of his $75,000 yearling acquisition. “He hasn’t shown me that much at home yet, even though he’s been good. I think he’ll make a nice horse. He’s a little on the lazy side. He’ll never give you any more than you make him, and I haven’t pushed him.”

Something For Doc triumphed in 1:54, a half-length better than the rallying Fancy Footwork, with Expect Success third. Strollin Stable, James Koehler and William Robinson own Something For Doc, a son of Western Hanover-Allamerican Mocha who likely will race next in the Reynolds.

“He needs races; he needs the experience,” Brown said. “Today, he pretty much did it all on talent and no smarts. He has no idea yet what he’s doing.”

The other splits went to Wink N Atcha (1:53.1), Ghost Written (1:54.2) and Pangali (1:56). Jason Bartlett and trainer George Teague, Jr. teamed for a stake triple (Custard The Dragon, Wink N Atcha, Ghost Written).

Dave Palone drove five winners and Greg Grismore three on the 15-race card.

(The Meadows)

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