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Gimpanzee Rebounds In Caesars Trotting Classic

Published: September 25, 2020 8:06 pm ET

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Fresh off her Maple Leaf Trot triumph earlier this month, Atlanta looked like she was in the clear turning for home in the $150,000 Caesars Trotting Classic, but Gimpanzee hauled her down in deep stretch to take top honours and close out a fabulous Grand Circuit stakes night at Harrah's Hoosier Park.

Winning driver Brian Sears and trainer Marcus Melander followed up a stakes victory earlier on the program with Gimpanzee's two-year-old sister Iteration (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows), who won a $221,000 division of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes.

The Caesars Trotting Classic featured a lively first-half with trotters racing wide into the first turn and multiple lead changes to follow.

JL Cruze (Matt Kakaley) cleared Custom Cantab (Peter Wrenn) before a three-wide Guardian Angel As (Tim Tetrick) took over at the :26.3 first quarter mark. Gimpanzee was next up and followed by Atlanta, who cleared at the half in :55 and opened up a couple of lengths on her main rival en route to three-quarters in 1:22.4.

Gimpanzee was still two lengths behind Atlanta as they headed down the lane, but he began to reel her in and collared the mare just before the finish line with a late surge to score in 1:51.2.

The winning time was just one-fifth of a second off the track record for older trotters, co-held by 2019 Caesars Trotting Classic winner and this year's third-place finisher Lindy The Great (Andy Miller).

"He always gets the job done," said Melander of his stable star, who also boasts victories in the Graduate, Hambletonian Maturity and Cashman this year. "He knows where the wire is and he just raced down Atlanta like he did today. She's an amazing filly, but today we beat her and I was very happy with that."

Gimpanzee, who finished third last time out in the Maple Leaf Trot on September 5 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, paid $3.40 to win as the 4-5 favourite.

"Of course everyone that has seen him all year, saw that he wasn't 100 per cent up in Canada," said Melander. "He still raced OK, but he wasn't as he's been all year. He scoped a little sick after that. I wanted to qualify him last week [at The Meadowlands] to see that he was back to normal and he was and that's when I decided to bring him here."

The accomplished Melander trainee, now six-for-eight in his four-year-old campaign, has earned 23 careers wins and more than $2.5 million in purses for owners Courant Inc. and Srf Stable.

Melander said Gimpanzee will head to Lexington, Kentucky next with the Breeders Crown a late season target back at Hoosier.

This Is The Plan successfully defended his title in the co-featured $140,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, defeating fellow Ron Burke trainees Filibuster Hanover and Dorsoduro Hanover at the wire.

With Dexter Dunn picking up the catch-drive, This Is The Plan secured the pocket spot early behind inside leaver American History (Joe Bongiorno) through a :25.4 opener while Backstreet Shadow (Tim Tetrick) left out for third position ahead of the Burke pair Filibuster Hanover (Chris Page) and Dordoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley).

American History continued to lead the field of 10 past the half-mile mark in :54.4 while Backstreet Shadow was flushed first-up then cleared to command with Dorsoduro Hanover hot on his heels to three-quarters in 1:22.

As the field headed down the long Hoosier Park stretch, Workin Ona Mystery (Trace Tetrick) rallied off Dorsoduro Hanover's cover. Meanwhile, This Is The Plan shot through on the inside to assume command and then held off Filibuster Hanover, who closed along the pylons, for the half-length victory in 1:49.1. Dorsoduro Hanover edged out Workin Ona Mystery to complete the Burke triactor.

"I was going in the two-hole there and we got in a little tricky spot coming around the last turn," said Dunn. "We got some lucky gaps and the horse really did respond well."

Overlooked as the 7-1 sixth choice, This Is The Plan returned $17.80 for the mild upset.

The five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Thats The Plan gelding earned his third triumph from 10 seasonal starts for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb, and Lawrence Karr. A 13-time career winner, This Is The Plan inflated his bankroll to $1.6 million with the lion's share of the Derby purse.

Driven by Dunn, the Nancy Takter-trained No Lou Zing held off his foes to win the $100,000 Jennas Beach Boy for three-year-old male pacers earlier on the card.

Leaving out with Splash Brother (Trace Tetrick), No Lou Zing took over command into the first turn and reached the quarter in :26.1. As he proceeded to show the way to the half in :55.2, Allywag Hanover (Tim Tetrick) launched his attack from mid-pack and applied pressure approaching three-quarters in 1:23. Allywag Hanover continued to threaten at the leader's wheel down the stretch while Splash Brother closed inside, but No Lou Zing held on to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:49.2.

Winless in three starts as a freshman, the lightly-staked Sweet Lou-Terroronthebeach gelding now sports a sophomore record reading 6-3-1 from 10 starts with earnings soaring over the $300,000 mark.

"He was really immature last year as a two-year-old," said Takter. "His knees bothered him a little bit and he just had no concept of what being a racehorse actually entails so we ended up gelding him and turning him out. We've really been babying him all along. He's been racing off the pace so I was a little worried when he was on the front end tonight because it's the first time he's ever cut a mile so I guess now he's learned to do that.

"That was really rewarding actually to see him on the front and just see the maturity in the gelding and to see just how much he's learned to become a racehorse."

No Lou Zing lowered his lifetime record that he took last time out in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship by one-fifth of a second.

The Breeders Crown-bound sophomore is owned by 3 Brothers Stables, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms.

Southwind Gendry continued his winning ways in the $120,000 Elevation for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings while threatening the divisional track record with his impressive 1:50.4 performance.

With David Miller aboard for trainer Ron Burke, the streaking son of world record holder Always B Miki and Gamblers Passion closed from fourth in the final quarter to prevail by a quarter-length.

Whats Your Beef (Trace Tetrick) was leading in the stretch after posting panels of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:23.2 when Almanac (Dexter Dunn) launched from the pocket and Virgo (Tim Tetrick) dashed up the inside, but it was the 2-5 favourite Southwind Gendry who stole the show.

The time of the mile was one-fifth of a second off the track record for two-year-olds co-held by Freaky Feet Pete, Always Bet De Grey and Odds on Osiris.

Virgo edged out Whats Your Beef for the runner-up role while Almanac settled for fourth.

Southwind Gendry is now six-for-eight and riding a four-race win streak that includes the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final.

The gelding, who is just shy of the $300,000 earnings mark, is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phillip Collura, Knox Services Inc., and Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb.

Friday's stakes action included a pair of $220,000+ Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for two-year-old fillies on the pace and trot.

Test Of Faith extended her win streak to five with a career-best 1:51.3 effort in the pacing division for trainer Brett Pelling.

After settling into a four-hole early on through opening panels of :27.1 and :57, 6-5 favourite Test Of Faith went on the attack approaching the 1:25.1 three-quarters mark for driver David Miller. Down the stretch, the New York Sire Stakes champion powered past the leading Somethingbeautiful (Lewayne Miller), who made front with a quarter-pole move. Gd Rockin Kay finished up in third ahead of early leader Continualou.

"She was really quiet and relaxed," said Miller, who was aboard the streaking filly for the first time. "That was kind of our game plan tonight to race her off the pace.

"I never really asked her until way through the stretch and she took off."

The Art Major-Cannae Cammie filly, who clocked a :25.3 final quarter, is now six-for-seven in her career with $367,750 banked in purses for owners Melvin Segal, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Eddie Gran.

After taking her New York Sire Stakes championship title, Iteration fired to the front from post five and never looked back, trotting a lifetime-best 1:55 mile in her Kentuckiana stakes division for driver Brian Sears and trainer Marcus Melander.

Sent postward as the even-money favourite, the Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows filly carved out early fractions of :27.4 and :57.3 before opening up 2-1/2 lengths on the way to three-quarters in 1:26.2. She remained clear of her rivals down the lane with Big City Pearl checking in second and Swift Swanda rallying off cover to show.

"We've been tinkering around with her bridle a little bit," said Sears, when asked about the filly's early break in stride last time out in the NYSS final. "She's been getting a little aggressive racing the New York circuit. But I've had a lot of confidence in this filly. Just trying to get her mind right, but she's starting to figure it out.

"She's been racing on the front a lot and she kind of doesn't even know what to do about racing horses. We opened her up a little bit more tonight and she stuck her mind to her business."

A $250,000 yearling purchase by Courant Inc., Iteration is a full-sister to Caesars Trotting Classic champion Gimpanzee. She has hit the board in all six of her starts and boasts four wins.

"She's also a very nice horse," said Melander. "She's a little bit more immature than he [Gimpanzee] was at her age. She's a super nice filly and when she gets it all figured out, she'll be a great horse."

Crucial and Sister Sledge completed a Ron Burke exactor in the $105,000 Moni Maker for three-year-old trotting fillies to kick off the stakes action on Friday night at Harrah's Hoosier Park.

Crucial, with David Miller in the bike, led a shortened field of five though fractions of :27.1, :57.4 and 1:27 en route to victory in 1:54.1. Her favoured stablemate closed inside from the pocket to come within a quarter-length at the wire for driver Brian Sears. Rock Swan rounded out the top three, following three behinds behind.

Crucial, this year's Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champion, paid $4.20 to win as the slight second choice to the Elegantimage runner-up Sister Sledge.

The daughter of Father Patrick out of the Muscle Hill mare Jolene Jolene is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, W. J. Donovan, Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. She notched her fifth win from 13 seasonal starts and boosted her annual income to nearly $350,000.

The Indiana-bred Brookview Bolt, also trained by Burke, was a wire-to-wire winner in the $40,000 Madison County for two-year-old trotting colts.

Sam Widger guided the Swan For All-Wittys Winner gelding through panels of :27.4, :57.3 and 1:27.1 before cruising to victory with the first-up, 8-5 choice Goodashim posing no threat down the lane and ending up fourth. Brookview Bolt won by 2-1/2 lengths in a personal-best 1:55 clocking while Swingforthefences and Bridge To Success finished second and third, respectively.

Brookview Bolt, who has now won half of his eight career starts, returned $7.40 as the 5-2 third choice.

He is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Knox Services Inc., Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

The $30,000 Indiana Grand Invitational was won by Sectionline Bigry ($7), who has now paced back-to-back 1:48.1 career-best miles at the Anderson, Indiana oval for trainer Steve Bauder and owner/breeder Harold Lee Bauder.

Driven by Tyler Smith, the five-year-old Pet Rock-Aquatic Yankee gelding overtook 8-5 favourite Little Rocket Man in the stretch and just held off the pylon-skimming Tellmeaboutit at the finish line, with Brassy Hanover a fast-closing third.

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