Washington, PA — Parked for the opening three-eighths before she could cross over, Luisella dug deep, held off a pair of late challengers and captured Wednesday’s (Sept. 14) $47,950 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old filly trotters at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows.
As they turned for home, Palermo Hanover loomed large outside while Dreamonhigh was desperate to find a seam between horses. Eventually she found that path, but it was too late, as Luisella downed her by a half-length in 1:54.2, with Palermo Hanover third.
Winning driver Tom Jackson said he was concerned that the tough journey might not leave Luisella with enough late.
“She didn’t leave as sharp as she usually does,” Jackson said. “But she won because she’s a good horse; she wouldn’t let anybody go by her. I don’t think she was at her best today but still good enough to win. I had to chase her a little bit, but she took care of business.”
Fred Grant trains Luisella, a daughter of Bar Hopping-Melusine who lifted her career bankroll to $165,759, for Russell Williams.
Jackson indicated that the upcoming Liberty Bell and Simpson stakes likely would complete Luisella’s racing career.
“I think they’ll breed her,” he said. “She’s a really nice mare, but as a 4-year-old she’d have to go so fast against aged mares. And her owner is a breeder.”
Elsewhere on Wednesday’s card, trainer Jessie Orbin notched the initial pari-mutuel win of his career when Lyons Euphoria upset in the third race. Orbin had one previous victory, but that occurred at the non-wagering Stoneboro Fair.
Mike Wilder piloted four winners on the 12-race card.
Live racing at The Meadows continues Thursday (Sept. 15) when the 12-race program features a $46,350 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. On the wagering front, the card offers a $636.51 carryover in the Jackpot Pick-5 (race 4). First post is 12:45 p.m.