Rose Run Zeke, a $14,000 bargain as a yearling acquisition, has outperformed that modest price by a lot, ripping off five straight wins to begin his career. On Friday at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows, he’ll try to extend his career unbeaten streak to six in the Tyler B, a $170,320 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for freshman colt and gelding pacers.
The Tyler B goes as Races 1, 3, 6 and 9, and the 13-race card also features a $60,000 PA Stallion Series event for two-year-old male pacers. First post is 5:10 p.m.
Owner/trainer Mitchell York was Rose Run Zeke’s buyer at Harrisburg, and he thinks he knows why the Stay Hungry-Rose Run Ultimate gelding went so cheaply.
“He’s a first foal, plus he was about 400 pounds overweight,” said York. “We put him on a special diet — it’s called work, and he gets a lot of that. He leaves very well, and in his second start, he sat in the four-hole and waited until the half to come out. So far he seems good all around.”
Rose Run Zeke took his 1:51.3 mark in an Aug. 6 PASS split at Pocono, but that was his only PASS action to date. Thus, he may need a good showing on Friday to qualify for the championship set for Sept. 2 at Pocono He goes from post four in Race 9 with Hunter Myers driving.
He won’t be the only representative Friday from the York stable, which is based at the Butler County Fairgrounds about 60 miles from The Meadows. York also will send out Aintbluenomore, another $14,000 bargain yearling who’s acquitted himself quite well with a mark of 1:51 at The Meadows and a win and a second in PASS action. He may already have clinched his berth in the championship.
“He’ll follow all day long,” said York. “But in the first PASS leg, he was out there on the lead all by himself and he did fine.”
Jeremy Indof will pilot the Heston Blue Chip-Jennas Delight gelding from post three in Race 3.
York, who jumped into harness racing after 25 years as a Pennsylvania state trooper, stakes his youngsters judiciously. Rose Run Zeke, for example, is paid into the Standardbred, the International Stallion Series and the Matron, but the stakes season for Aintbluenomore ends with the PASS final.
Even with selective stakes engagements, York has enjoyed a banner year. His three-year-old colt, Annapolis Hanover, competed in the Pepsi North America Cup and the Messenger, but his blood after the Messenger tested positive for Lyme disease. Following some time off, he’s trained well and will race on Saturday in the rich Hempt stake at Pocono.
Did York ever imagine he would develop such a powerhouse stable?
“I don’t know if imagine and dream are the same thing,” he said. “We just take it as it’s handed to us. It’s a lot of work, that’s for sure.”
(Meadows Standardbred Owners Association)