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Record For Dont Rush; Six For Merriman

Published: July 6, 2017 8:33 pm ET

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Dont Rush, who hadn’t made the lead at any point in his last four starts, gunned to the front from post 4, held off the menacing move of Classicality and scored the 16-1 upset in Thursday’s $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows in a track record 1:52.1.

Dont Rush faced no challenges until Classicality attacked from fourth near the three-quarters. When Jim Pantaleano asked him for more, the five-year-old son of Infinitif-Color Me Pretty found it and downed Classicality by a half-length margin, with Boy Meets Girl K third. The mile was the fastest ever by an older stallion at The Meadows, erasing the mark of 1:52.2 held jointly by Sharp Edge and Tamarind.

Richard Perfido trains Dont Rush, who pushed his career bankroll to $611,585, for Thomas Mattingly.

Aaron Merriman, bidding to become harness racing’s leading dash driver for the third consecutive year, took a step in that direction when he piloted six winners — including a pair for trainer Bill Daugherty, Jr. — on the 13-race card.

Elsewhere on the Thursday program, Venier Hanover, already this season’s fastest freshman gelding pacer on a five-eighths-mile track with a 1:54 clocking, lowered his own mark when he triumphed in 1:53.3 for trainer/driver David Brickell, who owns the son of Well Said-Valmctorian with Mitchell York.

(The Meadows)

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