'Wakizashi' Scores Sires Stakes Win

Published: August 29, 2015 01:09 am EDT

Wakizashi Hanover vanquished Wiggle It Jiggleit in the North America Cup, but lost his last five races to the division leader and driver Montrell Teague, most recently in the top level of the Battle of the Brandywine. Without his bitter rival in the field, Wakizashi Hanover sparkled in Friday’s $183,616 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes at The Meadows.

Overcoming the outside post eight, Wakizashi Hanover was a winner on the front for Tim Tetrick in 1:50.1, finishing one and a quarter lengths ahead of Lost For Words. Allbeef N Nobull completed the ticket.

“He’s always on his game. He always gives me a good race,” said Joann Looney-King, who conditions the Dragon Again-Western Gesture gelding for Tri County Stable of Truro, N.S. “He could handle these tonight. I’m hoping we don’t draw the eight or nine-hole every time. I keep telling Montrell, ‘I’m gonna get you again.’ He just laughs at me.”

She indicated Wakizashi Hanover will have a light racing schedule as he prepares for the Breeders Crown, with no appearances in the Little Brown Jug or at The Red Mile.

“We’re hoping he’ll last for a while,” she said. “We’re looking to the future with this horse.”

The PASS event for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers, known as the Tarport Effrat, was conducted over three divisions, with My Hero Ron and Yankee Bounty taking the other splits. Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke teamed for a stakes double with My Hero Ron and Yankee Bounty.

My Hero Ron surrendered the early lead to his stablemate, Rufo, then just got by him at the wire to score in a career-best 1:49.2, the fastest of the three divisions.

My Hero Ron was content to stalk Rufo from the pocket and challenge him late. He won, but not as easily as Gingras expected.

“Halfway through the stretch, I was ahead a neck or a good head and hand-driving through the wire, and I almost got surprised doing it,” Gingras said. “He was good the first couple times he was on the front, but not so much after that. I was happy with the two-hole trip.”

My Hero Ron edged Rufo by a nose, with Dreams Beachboy third. Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr and Frank Baldachino campaign the son of Well Said-Erma La Em, who vaulted over $200,000 in lifetime earnings with the victory.

At two, Yankee Bounty launched his career with an impressive winning streak that tabbed him as a star in the making. But he was winless in 13 outings this year before ending his frustration with a front-end triumph in 1:49.3, a career-best. The Wayfaring Man was second, one and three-quarter lengths back, with Lyons Again third.

“He developed last year as fast as he would be,” Burke said. “He was as fast last year as he’s been this year. Maybe he didn’t start the year razor sharp, but he was second in the Adios, and he had sneaky pace last week. He warmed up real well, and I said to Yannick, ‘Just get him to the front and we’ll see what he does,’ and he responded.”

Burke said he expects to race Yankee Bounty as a four-year-old.

“You’ll always make money with him,” Burke said. “He’ll race on every size track. He’s the kind of horse people love to have. He’s sound, and he’ll just keep going.”

The Yankee Cruiser-Bootleg Yankee gelding now has earned $538,024 for his owners, Yankee Bounty Partnership and Frank Chick.

Friday’s card also featured a $40,000 PA Stallion Series event for sophomore colt and gelding pacers, with Sectionline Rock and Badiou Hanover taking the splits — the latter by disqualification.

Dismissed at 20-1, Sectionline Rock appeared destined for a place finish behind the front-ending UF Larry Alltheway when a late burst carried him by the leader to a half-length victory in 1:51.1. This Time earned show.

“When I moved him over at the top of the stretch, he gave me a good little burst of speed,” said Matt Kakaley, who piloted the Yankee Cruiser-Armbro Alto gelding for trainer Ron Potter and owners H. Lee Bauder, Harold Bauder, Clyde Perfect and Whiskey Tango Stable. “I thought I could reel the leader in. He shows getting away toward the back every start, so I tried putting him in play up close, and obviously it worked out perfect.”

Badiou Hanover crossed the line second, but was awarded the win when Trading Up was disqualified and placed fourth for using the Lightning Lane without entitlement. Joe Hill and Parklane Eagle were promoted to second and third, respectively. Julie Miller trains Badiou Hanover, a Well Said-Blind Ambition gelding, for Pinske Stables and Joe P Racing LLC.

Elsewhere on the card, Sam Hill captured the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace in 1:51.2 for Greg Wright Jr., trainer John Sullivan and owner Don Tiger. The pocket-sitting Seventh Secret was second, three-quarters of a length in arrears, with Hillbilly Hanover third. The nine-year-old Artsplace-Apple Of My Eye gelding extended his career bankroll to $389,637.

Monday’s card at The Meadows features a $100,000 PA Stallion Series stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers. First post is 12:55 p.m.

(With files from The Meadows)

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