Caviar Gold, El Toro Loco win Currier & Ives splits

Washington, PA — Caviar Gold zipped to the point from post six and widened late to capture a division of Saturday’s (June 18) $96,884 Currier & Ives at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows in 1:54. El Toro Loco went from worst to first in the lane to take the other split in the Grand Circuit event for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters.

Caviar Gold captured a division of Saturday’s Currier & Ives in 1:54. Chris Gooden photo.

Caviar Gold won the Hackett final and an Ohio Sires Stake division before throwing in a couple clunkers in overnights, prompting a shoe change. He had no trouble grabbing The Meadows surface and continued to draw off despite an apparently insurmountable lead. Trainer Chris Beaver said he asked winning driver Aaron Merriman to keep the Triumphant Caviar-Gee O’keeffe gelding busy.

“Aaron was rolling him along because if you don’t keep his attention, you can have a problem,” Beaver said. “He’s well staked at the end of the season. We try to get through the Ohio Sires Stakes, make the finals and then think about the Grand Circuit.”

The victory extends a record of uncommon Currier & Ives success for Beaver. He won it last year with Perron and in 2017 with Fraser Ridge. In 2009, Triumphant Caviar captured an elimination heat for Beaver while Il Sogno Dream took a 2014 division in 1:53.2, still the stake record.

Asked if he’d heard anything about the stakes being renamed Currier, Ives & Beaver, he deadpanned: “I don’t have any comment on that.”

Up Blueberry Hill was second, four lengths back, with Pappardelle (a Beaver trainee) third. Beaver bred Caviar Gold, who now has banked $170,721, and owns with Bill Manes, Leo Fleming and Steven Zeehandelar.

El Toro Loco scored in 1:55.2, a neck ahead of Last Glow, with early leader S I P third. Chris Gooden photo.

Pinned to the pylons and 4-1/2 lengths back, El Toro Loco seemed destined for a minor award at best. But when Brian Zendt swung him well outside, he found another gear and scored in 1:55.2, a neck ahead of Last Glow, with early leader S I P third.

Tom Loughry Jr. conditions the Walner-Southwind Cabaret gelding for Brian Gillespie’s Lone Wolf Stable.

For Loughry, the path to the Currier & Ives winner’s circle was circuitous. For a number of years, he and his cousin, Robert Rougeaux III, have jointly operated the stable of their late grandfather, Harold Brocious, with Rougeaux listed as trainer. But Loughry, who handles most of the shipping, found it was easier to race out of state when the actual trainer was present.

Thus, he got his trainer’s license and had his first start on July 2, 2021, finishing fifth. Today, less than a year later, he’s a Grand Circuit stake-winning trainer.

“This is the biggest thrill with my name down as trainer,” Loughry said. “Still, we get the same thrill when we win at the fairs. Where does he go next? That’s up to Mr. Gillespie. We just try to stay out of his way and give him the best opportunities to win.”

Merriman collected three wins on the 11-race card.

Live racing at The Meadows resumes Wednesday when the program features a pair of carryovers — $21,064.68 in the Jackpot Pick-5 (race four), $598.27 in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 p.m.

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