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Bunkmeister Sets PASS Record

Published: July 3, 2008 2:58 pm ET

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In a scintillating career debut, Bunkmeister paced to a stake record 1:52.3 in a $256,685 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for freshman colts and geldings Thursday at The Meadows.

The event, known as the Albatross, attracted 71 entrants over nine divisions, a record number of splits for the stake and evidence of the impact of slots revenue on the PA sires stake program. The 2007 edition of the Albatross featured 6 divisions and a purse of $126,140.

Other divisional winners were Arctic Warrior, Buckeye Nation, Spring Again, Built To Drive, Absolutely Michael, Panmunjom, Lahaye and Johnny Z.

Dave Palone enjoyed an outstanding afternoon, winning six Albatross divisions, while George Teague, Jr. recorded a training triple (Bunkmeister, Built To Drive, Johnny Z).

Sitting fourth at the half, Bunkmeister and Palone tipped to the outside and gained steadily on the leaders rather than blowing by. Bunkmeister never tired, drawing off to win by 11 lengths over Hail Storm. Dream Job was third.

John Celli owns the son of The Panderosa, a half brother to the top three-year-old Badlands Nitro, another Teague trainee.

"John also is an owner of Badlands Nitro," Teague said. "I didn't go partners with him on this one - looks like a bad mistake now. Is he a big-time talent? I hope so. He definitely fit the description today and in his first few qualifiers. He acts like he has a big motor to him."

It was the fastest mile this season for a freshman pacing colt on a five-eighths mile track and shattered what had been the stake record at the start of the day, 1:53.3 turned in last year by Idle Hour and Randy Tharps.

Actually, Arctic Warrior already had lowered that mark to 1:53.2 earlier in the stake; although that record lasted about 30 minutes, Arctic Warrior was impressive in his pari-mutuel debut. Tim Curtin got the gelded son of Blissful Hall away second, then made a decisive quarter-pole move. Arctic Hall prevailed by 8-1/4 lengths over Alcatraz, with Precious Medal a distant third.

Sam Beegle trains the homebred for Wahoo Stable - Beegle, his wife and daughter. He said the youngster will compete primarily in Pennsylvania this year.

"I bred and raised him, and I want to keep him right here in Pennsylvania and just have some fun with him," Beegle
said. "I have him staked a little better next year, but if he gets six or eight starts this year, that's enough for him."

Buckeye Nation already has exceeded the expectations of just about everybody but his trainer, Robert Reynolds, Jr., who
picked up the son of Allamerican Native for a mere $8,000 at auction.

"Everybody else kind of missed him," Reynolds said. "He came in late Sunday at the sale. I was still looking at colts. I had a chance to look at his video, and he was a good-looking colt. We sent him to Mickey Peterson all winter, he had him until February. Mickey did a heckuva job with him. He doesn't have a lot of big stakes this year, but next year, he's eligible to a lot of things."

In his initial start, Buckeye Nation was a good second in the Goshen Cup at the Meadowlands. In the Albatross, Doug Snyder pushed him to the front in a fast :27.1. Buckeye Nation fended off a late challenge from Allamerican Master to defeat that rival by two lengths in 1:54.1. Lislea Moran earned show money.

(The Meadows)

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