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Love Matters Remains Undefeated

Published: September 4, 2015 8:39 pm ET

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Sold earlier in the week, Love Matters bade his old connections a fond farewell when he extended his career unbeaten streak to six in Friday’s Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for freshman colt and gelding trotters at The Meadows.

Not to be outdone, Sutton broke the stakes record — and Love Matters’ track record — in his division, scoring in 1:54.1. Hititoutofthepark captured the third split of the event known as the Florida Pro.

On Friday, Sept. 11, The Meadows will host all four $350,000 PASS championships and $60,000 consolations for two-year-olds. First post that day is 12:55 p.m.

Robin Cruise prepared Love Matters for the Florida Pro, but he moved after the event to the powerful stable of Jimmy Takter, where he’ll race for Christina Takter, Brixton Medical, John Fielding and Herb Liverman.

Marcus Miller, the winning driver Friday and the regular pilot for the son of Explosive Matter-Lotsa Love, said the victory was bittersweet.

“It’s a little sad,” Marcus Miller said. “He’s as good now as he’s ever been — maybe better. He’s really a simple horse to drive and train. What advice would I have for the new connections? Jimmy Takter will be training. That’s enough said.”

In the Florida Pro, Love Matters moved to the lead past the quarter and poured it on, downing the first-over Marion Gondolier by four lengths, with Heightend Security third. His time of 1:55.1 knocked a tick from the track record for two-year-old colt trotters held jointly by Keystone Activator, Pilgrims Taj and Dontyouforgetit.

That mark was fleeting, though, as Sutton moved first up from third for Andy Miller and triumphed in 1:54.1, shattering the stakes record of 1:55 set by Correctamundo in 2009. Truemass Volo, forced to idle while awaiting the Lightning Lane, was second, one and a quarter lengths back, while early leader Iron Mine Bucky earned show.

“He just needed things to go his way a little bit,” Andy Miller said. “He’s been very consistent. He has some Pennsylvania races left. Then maybe we’ll try him in some of the bigger stakes.”

Julie Miller conditions the son of Donato Hanover-I Wanted Wings for Andy Miller Stable, Jason Allen and Douglas Allen.

The third division became confusing and messy when four horses — including the winner — jumped it off approaching the quarter. Corey Callahan quickly settled Hititoutofthepark and guided him back to the rail, where he launched an uncovered move that carried him to victory in 1:56.2 — slowish but impressive under the circumstances. Lagerfeld, who inherited the lead after the break-fest, was second, three-quarters of a length in arrears, with Desert Runner third.

“He doesn’t want to run, but he got jammed up,” Callahan said. “He trotted a big back half after that. I was really happy with him.”

John Butenschoen trains the Yankee Glide-Celebrity Liza colt for Give It A Shot Stable, Kurt Welling, and VIP Internet Stable LLC.

In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Easy Again powered up from third down the backside and scored handily in 1:50.4, two and a quarter lengths ahead of Seventh Secret. Visible Gold completed the ticket. Aaron Merriman drove the six-year-old Dragon Again-Kuklapanandollie ridgling, who soared over $800,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable and Panhellenic Stable.

Tony Hall collected four wins on the 13-race card.

After a Labor Day break, live racing at The Meadows resumes Tuesday, first post 12:55 p.m.

(With files from The Meadows)


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