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Donttellmeagain Sweeps Prelims

Published: August 24, 2016 8:59 pm ET

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Donttellmeagain completed his sweep of four Pennsylvania Stallion Series preliminary legs when he rolled home in 1:52 — a national season’s mark — in Wednesday’s (August 24) action at The Meadows.

The $80,000 event for freshman colt and gelding pacers was contested over four divisions, with Dragon Striker, Western Hill and Ozone Blue Chip taking the other $20,000 splits. Aaron Merriman notched a stake double behind Donttellmeagain and Ozone Blue Chip.

Jim King Jr. said he and his wife, trainer Jo Ann Looney-King, knew early on they had a talented horse on their hands, but couldn’t reach immediate consensus on his stakes schedule with the youngster’s owner, Paton Racing Stables.

“I suggested putting him in the Sires Stakes, but the owner wanted to stick with the plan, which was the Stallion Series,” King reported. “I got a horse with a lot of confidence right now — we haven’t taken him apart. I think he was well paid for his efforts. If everything goes fine with the final, that leaves us in a situation where the horse can make any payments that we want instead of expecting the owner to make them.”

On Wednesday, the Dragon Again-Donttellmewhattodo gelding moved to the front before the quarter and won as he pleased, downing Somebeach Baron by three and a half lengths, with Mr Today third. Stallion Series championships are set for Sept. 11-12 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Ponderingjacksfame also was seeking a Stallion Series sweep, but he was stung to the quarter in :27.2 by 60-1 longshot Aplin Hanover. That left him vulnerable to the improbable first-over charge of Dragon Striker — improbable because the son of Dragon Again-Ladys Portrait was a five-race maiden entering the event. Nevertheless, he defeated Ponderingjacksfame and Marcus Miller by one and a hald lengths in 1:52.3. See You Friday earned show.

“The horse sitting second was a longshot, and Marcus’ horse definitely was much the best,” said winning driver Tony Hall. “I didn’t want to get stuck behind the horse in the two-hole if he backed me through. So my game plan was to get around him and get back in the two-hole. I was stuck out there a lot longer than I assumed I would be. But my horse overcame it and raced a huge mile.”

Rich Gillock trains Dragon Striker for owner/breeder Bob Key.

Western Hill found himself outside and gapping cover in a :26.3 third panel, but he shifted to another gear and prevailed in 1:52.4 for Joe Bongiorno, trainer Tony Alagna and owner/breeder Tom Hill. Early leader Maconupwithedragon was second, one and a quarter lengths back, while Papiamento completed the ticket.

“I was chasing him a little bit, and he wasn’t going on very much, but :26.3 was the reason,” Bongiorno said. “When I popped the plugs, he gained so much ground so quick — I think he came his third quarter in :26.1 — and he was just gone. That’s a serious horse.”

In the Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Tall Cotton let his stablemate, I Know My Chip, do all the heavy lifting, then kicked past in the lane to score in 1:54.1. Trustworthy Kid shot the Lightning Lane for second, beaten a head, while I Know My Chip saved show. Dave Palone piloted the 10-year-old Revenue S-B Cor Peatra gelding, who extended his career bankroll over $800,000, for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Edwin Gold and Howard Taylor. It was one of four wins for Palone on the 13-race card.

Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the program features the $140,000 Nadia Lobell for three-year-old filly pacers and the Tyler B, a $186,672 PA Sires Stake for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers. The card begins at the special post time of 11:25 a.m. to dovetail with the running of the Travers at Saratoga later Saturday.

(With files from The Meadows)

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