East Rutherford, NJ — According to the past performances, Lyons Steel would need a lot of things to go his way bumping up in class to emerge victorious in Saturday night’s (Feb. 21) co-featured $22,500 winners-over $11,500 conditioned pace at The Meadowlands.
And as it turned out, they did.
Following a perfect second-over trip, the razor-sharp 6-year-old gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Lyons Luck blasted home off cover to pull off a 6-1 surprise, and in the process, upped his winning streak to three.
After floating away from the gate from post five in the seven-horse field, driver Corey Callahan had Lyons Steel in sixth at the quarter. Early leader, and 5-2 second choice, Italian Delight N (Dexter Dunn), yielded to My Pal Joe (Alex Chartrand) at the half (:55.3) as the flow started to develop on the rim.
Rockin The Aces (Scott Zeron) went first-over to press My Pal Joe as Lyons Steel drafted in behind with 4-5 favorite Springsteen (Todd McCarthy) third-up while Italian Delight N stayed patient in the pocket.
In the stretch, the scramble was on as Lyons Steel tipped three-wide and flew home to record a 1-1/2 length win over a fast-closing No Easy Day (Yannick Gingras) in 1:51. Rockin The Aces held third. Italian Delight N was fourth with Springsteen a no-excuse sixth after not firing through the lane.
“He’s a nice horse,” said Callahan. “Maybe he’s not the same horse as Springsteen, but Springsteen is in and out. I was worried about him being on my back, but when I moved my horse off his cover, he paced hard to the wire. Tonight, he got the trip and it worked out well.”
Lyons Steel returned $15.40 to his backers in winning for the 26th time from 116 lifetime starts. Trained by Dennis Watson and owned by BD Racing, he now has a lifetime bank account worth $371,224.
In the $22,500 co-featured winners-over $11,500 trot, Scirocco Rob (Daniel Dube) scored as the 2-1 favorite for driver Daniel Dube and trainer Mark Silva in 1:53.2.
The 6-year-old gelded son of Explosive Matter-Fun At Parties made the top while parked at the quarter, putting 4-1 third choice Kenziesky Hanover in the pocket. They raced that way into the stretch, when Kenziesky Hanover (Callahan) emerged from the two-hole to take a short lead, but Scirocco Rob found more and out-gamed his foe to the wire to record a neck win, denying Callahan a sweep of the top two events on the card. Rich And Miserable was third.
“The other horse went by us,” said Dube. “But my horse fought back. He’s got a big heart.”
Scirocco Rob returned $6.00 in recording his 25th-lifetime victory from 77 starts. His earnings now stand at $515,004 for owners Lewis Whitaker Jr. and Kathleen Whitaker.
BETTING BIG AGAIN: All-source wagering totaled $3,871,820 on the 15-race card, with the most action on a single race being the first, when $389,159 was pushed through the windows. Betting came up just short of topping the $7-million mark for a fourth consecutive weekend, with a total of $6,952,141 put in play.
The sixth race 50-cent Pick-4 was the biggest single pool of the night with $112,023 in bets taken.
A LITTLE MORE: Western Fame rocked the clock in the sixth race high-end conditioned pace, hitting the wire in 1:48.4 after leading at every call for Dube and trainer Shane Tritton. The only horse to go faster this year is Let It Ride N, who went 1:48.1 on Jan. 2 at The Big M. … Dexter Dunn had a driving triple for a second consecutive night to up his track-leading driver dash-win total to 45. … Tritton trained three to victory lane. … Racing resumes Friday at 6 p.m.