Day At The Track

"Amped Up" & "Monte" win Keystone Classic divisions

03:33 PM 28 Sep 2013 NZST
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Amped Up Hanover Monte Cristo Spur, harness racing
Amped Up Hanover and driver Mike Wilder
Monte Cristo Spur and driver Dick Stillings

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 27, 2013 — Amped Up Hanover rushed to the early lead and never faced a serious challenge en route to a facile victory in Friday’s Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Monte Cristo Spur fashioned a similarly easy win in the other division of the $101,000 event for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters.

Amped Up Hanover endured several narrow losses in tough recent stakes, but he was very much the boss Friday, putting away the field in 1:56.3. Upfront Billy Boy was 3-1/4 lengths back in second, with Explosive Cash third.

“He pushed the gate away like an older horse,” said winning driver Mike Wilder. “He has great manners. I never pulled out his earplugs. He really acts like he’s a classy colt.”

John Butenschoen trains the Explosive Matter-Armbro Amadeus gelding, whose win pushed his bankroll north of $100,000, for Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, Robert Bove, VIP Internet Stable and Tangie Massey.

Monte Cristo Spur pulled the pocket for trainer/driver Dick Stillings at the three-quarters and jogged to victory in a career-best 1:57.1, 4-3/4 lengths better than the rallying Master Bedroom. Uriel closed well for show.

“I thought my horse was probably the best,” Stillings said. “He got a little warm his last race, so I had to make a couple changes. I went to a different bit and put his earplugs back in. That’s it for him this year. He isn’t very big, so we decided not to stake him very much. We kept him in some big races next year.”

Richard Davis owns the son of Cantab Hall-Sweet Gabriella, who completed his freshman campaign by vaulting over $100,000 in earnings.

In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, Darena Hanover stalked from the pocket for Wilder, then poured through the Lightning Lane to erase a 3-1/2-length deficit and triumph in a sharp 1:51.4. The first-over Do Me Honor was second, 3/4 lengths in arrears, while early leader Betterluvnexttime saved show.

Ron Burke trains Darena Hanover, a 4-year-old daughter of Yankee Cruiser-Dashaway Hanover who now boasts $643,947 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable. Stillings and Wilder each drove three winners on the 15-race card.

Stake racing at The Meadows resumes Monday with a pair of Keystone Classics — a $90,000 event for 3-year-old filly trotters and an $81,600 stake for sophomore filly pacers. First post is 12:55 PM.

by Evan Pattak for The Meadows

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