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Global Pandemic Equals PASS Record

Published: August 13, 2021 8:23 pm ET

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Global Pandemic turned back his rival, Keg Stand, and matched the stakes record of 1:54.4 in Friday’s $156,720 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes at The Meadows.

The event for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters, known as the Florida Pro, was contested over two divisions, and the other split may have made PASS history of sorts. All five starters broke stride in the final quarter, and the horse who jumped it off first, Khal Drogo, rallied to finish second and was awarded the victory.

Keg Stand, who defeated Global Pandemic in a July 14 PASS at The Meadows, was sent off the 1-5 favourite, and when he bore down on Global Pandemic in the lane, he figured to go on by. But the son of Cantab Hall-Nicoles Promise, perhaps a stronger colt than he was a month ago, dug in and held off Keg Stand by a half-length, with Kosher Mahoney third.

“He’s a big colt, and it’s taken him a little time,” said winning driver Yannick Gingras. “Believe me, he’s been good the whole time, but he was definitely better today.”

The time equalled the mark held jointly by Sutton and Real Cool Sam. Ron Burke trains Global Pandemic, who lifted his career bankroll north of $125,000, for Burke Racing Stable, Hatfield Stables and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

In the other split, Khal Drogo began the festivities when, with a seemingly unassailable lead, he jumped it off into the final turn. That was the signal for Nice Guy Eddie (Ake Svanstedt) to stick ‘em in. In doing so, he got into Troycen (Dexter Dunn), who also broke.

That sequence left only Ginger Tree Brad (Aaron Merriman) and Fiftyfour K (Jim Pantaleano) still in apparent contention. Ginger Tree Brad broke once passed, and Fiftyfour K had only to stay flat to win. But about 50 yards short of the wire, he broke and could not regain his gait, despite Pantaleano’s best efforts.

Fiftyfour K crossed the wire 2-3/4 lengths ahead of Khal Drogo but was disqualified for violation of the breaking rule and, following a lengthy review, placed back to third. When Nice Guy Eddie was elevated to second, then placed back to last, Fiftyfour K was promoted to second. Ginger Tree Brad was fourth-placed-third. The judges awarded Khal Drogo the winning time of 1:58.4.

Winning driver David Miller said he has driven in break-fests where all horses went off stride but never in one featuring trotters of Sire Stakes-caliber.

“That was bizarre, wasn’t it?” Miller said. “I honestly thought my horse could win today. I was a little bit surprised that he ran. He’s pretty good gaited, but he got a little too crooked in the last turn.”

It wasn’t exactly a by-the-book victory, but it allowed Khal Drogo, a son of Andover Hall-Mariah Dancer, to extend his winning streak to three for trainer Brett Ecker and owner Silver Bullet Stable.

Burke, who trains Fiftyfour K for Here’s To Us Stable, said he has appealed the disqualification to the PA Horse Racing Commission, arguing that the horse and Pantaleano complied with all aspects of the breaking rule.

Oh Boy and Bar Coins each took a division of Friday’s sub-feature, the $40,000 PA Stallion Series for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters.

Oh Boy sat a patient third for Miller and looked like he could brush by whenever Miller pushed the button.

“He’s been winning pretty easy,” Miller said. “That’s a pleasure. You don’t get that very often. I wasn’t real worried about the fractions because I figured the horse on the front was the one I had to beat. I hadn’t even asked him, and he got to the leader pretty quick.”

The Donato Hanover-Hollybrook Lane gelding triumphed geared down in 1:58.2, two lengths better than Bigly, with Amour Deaner third. Jason Shaw conditions Oh Boy for Tammy Carter.

Bar Coins rallied from worst to first in 1:59.2 for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, who owns the son of Bar Hopping-Gold Cora with Christine Schadel, Rick Beinhauer and Regina Beinhauer.

Live racing at The Meadows continues Saturday when the 13-race card features a $9,751.61 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 p.m.

(With files from MSOA)

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