Day At The Track

Palone wins six including series opener

03:28 PM 06 Mar 2016 NZDT
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Dave Palone
Dave Palone

Connecting Flight stamped himself as the one to beat in the Walter Russell Memorial Pace when he cruised to victory in a sharp 1:52.2 in Saturday’s opening leg at The Meadows. Stone Fire Hanover and Official Stripes captured the other $12,000 opening-leg divisions of the harness racing event for 3- and 4-year-old pacing colts, horses and geldings. The series honors the memory of the late Walter Russell, whose distinguished career as a judge earned him a spot in the Harness Hall of Fame.

Connecting Flight prepped for the series with three tough outings at the Meadowlands. That experience showed, as he quarter-poled to the front for Dave Palone and cruised home 5-1/4 lengths better than Dr Drake Ramoray, with Keystone Dylan third. Kevin Johnson trains Connecting Flight a 4-year-old Panspacificflight-Shares Rebound gelding, for Erv Miller.

In the $22,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Rockin Ron powered to his fifth straight victory — including one at Hoosier Park and four at The Meadows — for Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver-Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables. The 4-year-old Real Desire-Im All A Roan gelding scored in 1:51, matching his lifetime best, and extended his career bankroll to $168,668.

Palone piloted six winners on the 15-race card while Tony Hall and Burke each enjoyed a triple.

Evan Pattak

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