Washington, PA — Recovered from a recent injury, Marsala Hanover regained her top form and scored a decisive victory in Thursday’s (Sept. 16) $58,150 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old pacing fillies at The Meadows.
Winning driver Scott Zeron noted that Marsala Hanover’s physical issue was ill-timed, slowing her for the $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, where she finished eighth.
“She brushed a knee, and it swelled up a little bit,” Zeron said. “It was enough that she had to back off on training. Now, she’s back to her fitness level. She’s come right back around. That was her normal self today, and it was good to see.”
In the Keystone Classic, the daughter of Captaintreacherous and Marinade Hanover made it look easy, quarter-poling to the top and drawing off to triumph in 1:51.2, 2-1/2 lengths better than Lady Newton. Darby Hanover completed the ticket.
Linda Tosacon trains Marsala Hanover, who now has banked $367,379 for owners Let It Ride Stable, Bottom Line Racing, South Mountain Stables and Little E LLC.
$69,550 Keystone Classic — 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot
Thursday’s co-feature showcased a pair of trotters, Redwhite N Goo and Plumville Prince, winning their first stakes this season. For Redwhite N Goo, it was the initial stakes win of his career.
Zeron, who piloted Plumville Prince, indicated the son of Father Patrick and Lady Athens was meant to be a top colt until an injury sidelined him after five starts last year.
“He was a really talented horse — won an elimination of the Peter Haughton in 1:54 with his earplugs in,” Zeron said. “I thought he would have a spectacular year. Then he broke a coffin bone. It was unlucky, but the talent was always there.
“My dad (trainer Rick Zeron) did a good job of giving him the right amount of time. I was happy that he delivered in only his third start back.
Plumville Prince trotted patiently along the cones in third, but when Zeron showed him racetrack late, he rolled past the leader, Whiskey Blu, to defeat him by a half length in 1:54.1. Capstone was a ground-saving third.
Thomas Brice and Charles Receski campaign Plumville Prince.
Redwhite N Goo had shown both flashes of brilliance and unruliness this year, winning some races for fun but making unforced breaks in others.
“He’s done some impressive things, and (regular driver) Mike (Wilder) has a lot of confidence in him, so I thought I’d give him a crack,” said Scott Betts, who trains the Googoo Gaagaa-Redwhitenbluestone gelding for Tim Betts. “He likes to be turned out, likes to train the wrong way on the track. He kind of does his own thing. He’s still learning.”
In the Keystone Classic, he rated beautifully in the pocket for Wilder, then fired through the Lightning Lane to prevail in a career best 1:55.1. Robbie Pev rallied for second, 1-3/4 lengths back, with Make Sure Its Cold third.
Dave Palone collected three wins on the 13-race card.
Live racing at The Meadows continues Friday (Sept. 17), when the program features a $79,313.23 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 with a mandatory payout. The Super Hi-5 jackpot usually is paid only if there is a unique correct ticket. However, with the mandatory payout, all holders of correct tickets will share the jackpot, which is expected to reach $250,000 or more.
On the racing front, the card offers a pair of Keystone Classics for 3-year-olds — an $83,700 stakes for pacing colts and geldings, and a $58,150 event for trotting fillies.
The Sept. 17 card kicks off a series of 11 Friday programs with the special post time of 4 p.m.