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'Northwest' Fastest In Keystone Classics

Published: September 17, 2010 9:47 pm ET

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Trailing by three lengths at the half, 1-9 favourite Northwest Hanover unleashed a powerful uncovered bid that carried her to victory in 1:53.2, the fastest division of Friday’s Keystone Classic at The Meadows.

The $95,002 event for three-year-old filly pacers was contested over three divisions, with Princessofdarkness and Discoverer capturing the other splits — both for Mike Wilder.

Although the public expected little more than a paid workout for Northwest Hanover, she found herself in an uncomfortable position when Eric Ledford and Six Pistol got loose on the front end in a swift :54.2 half.

“It certainly was a surprise when they got down there that much,” said Tim Pinske, who trains Northwest Hanover for Pinske Stables and John Carver. “We’d probably have been better off in mid-pack then. But she’s a nice filly, and she got the job done.”

The daughter of Western Hanover-Northern Sky got busy down the backside when she moved without cover, returned to the pylons and finally put away Six Pistol before the three-quarters. She defeated Elegant Girl by two lengths, with She Can Dance third.

Pinske said Northwest Hanover, a $52,000 yearling acquisition who now boasts career earnings of $253,960, will be pointed to the Breeders Crown.

Princessofdarkness also came from well back, erasing a 5-1/2-length deficit by pouncing on Western Royalty and Dan Charlino and Baby Mc and Dave Palone after those two engaged in a wearying duel.

“I was licking my chops in the first turn because I thought David would be great cover for me,” Wilder said. “Then when he moved, I needed another plan. When I looked up and saw that Dan didn’t release him, I knew that was my second plan.”

Princessofdarkness prevailed in 1:54.1, three-quarter lengths better than Western Royalty, while Baby Mc saved show. Charlie Norris trains Princessofdarkness, a daughter of The Panderosa-Mattintosh, for Carrie Norris.

Discoverer won her third consecutive race with a wide, late move that brought her from a 4-1/2-length deficit to victory in 1:54.1. All Heart Gal rallied for second, 2-1/4 lengths in arrears, with Sand Gesture third.

“I think the bias today is off the back, and it worked out well for us,” Wilder said. “They told me she was lazy, but every time I called on her, she responded. When I flipped her four deep, she just paced away.”

Matthew Cox trains Discoverer, a daughter of Four Starzzz Shark-Under Your Spell, for D.R. Van Witzenburg and George Golemes.

In the $22,500 Preferred Handicap Trot, Chips And Wings used a first-over move to triumph in 1:55.1, his 18th victory in 48 career starts. Rembrandt Spur was second, a neck back, while Sir Caviar completed the trifecta. Tony Hall drove the four-year-old son of Chip Chip Hooray-Silent Wings for trainer Andy Rickert and owner Bethie Murdock.

(The Meadows)

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