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Up Front Juansteen Sets Meadows Record

Published: September 16, 2009 1:34 am ET

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Up Front Juansteen, who needed seven races to break her maiden, demonstrated that she learned deliberately but well Tuesday at the Meadows as she took her Keystone Classic division in 1:56.1 - a track record for freshman trotting fillies.

The $95,800 event for Pennsylvania-breds was contested over three divisions, with Bone A Fide and Ally Gal Ridge capturing the other splits.

Up Front Juansteen experienced intermittent breaks in her demanding early stake schedule, finally getting that first win in an overnight event last week at The Meadows. In the Keystone Classic, she put it all together for Brett Miller, swooping the field with a backside burst and drawing off to win by a little more than four lengths over the 4-5 favourite, Lady Sorro. Si Bon Hall was third.

Her time erased the track record of 1:56.4 set by Eye Perfect in 2003 and was the fastest this year by a two-year-old trotting filly on a five-eighths mile track.

“She just wasn’t sure of herself earlier,” said Kelly O’Donnell, who trains the daughter of Andover Hall-Yankee Dakota for Ed Mullinax and Murray Brown. “It took her a couple extra tries before she figured everything out. We moved some head poles around a little bit, changed her shoes just a little bit, nothing really serious, just trying to build up her confidence.”

Bone A Fide employed a similar uncovered bid to vault to the lead and score for Yannick Gingras in 1:57.4. Greathallofchina was two lengths back in second, with Upfront OBs Janet third.

“She may be the second-best two-year-old I’ve ever driven behind Darlins Delight,” Gingras said. “She’ll prove that over time. She’s a little shaky in the turns, but I can’t wait to get her back on the big track. I actually wanted to be on the front, but with two horses battling a little bit the first quarter, I just wanted to be inside in the turns. I took a shot to clear before the last turn. I never even popped the plugs.”

The partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Pullano, Kerr and Collura owns Bone A Fide, a daughter of SJs Photo-On The Bones who pushed her bankroll to $154,965 in eight career starts.

Ally Gal Ridge also saved her brush for the last panel, coming on in the stretch for Dave Palone to down Sabana Hanover by just over two lengths in 1:59.3. Keystone Fling completed the ticket.

“I think she has a lot of upside to her - very good gaited, very good attitude,” Burke said. “I told David before the race that I didn’t think she could get beat unless she made a mistake, so let the race dictate when you move her. She has a bright future ahead of her.”

Fulton Nine Partners owns the daughter of Tom Ridge-Armbro Waikiki.

Palone drove five winners and Miller three on the 16-race card while Kent Sherman fashioned a training triple.

(The Meadows)

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