Day At The Track

'Hunter' bags sweep of claiming series

02:00 PM 28 Feb 2016 NZDT
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Big Game Hunter Screen The Call
Big Game Hunter extended his lifetime earnings to $179,155
Screen The Call converted a pocket trip to victory

Big Game Hunter bagged a sweep of the Winter Claiming Series for $20,000 claiming horse and gelding pacers when he captured Saturday's $35,500 final at The Meadows. Screen The Call took the $21,000 championship of the harness racing Winter Claiming Series for $10,000 claiming horse and gelding pacers.

Sitting fourth near the three-eighths, Big Game Hunter made a quick burst to the front for Aaron Merriman and had little trouble from there, scoring in 1:52.4. Valiente Stride was second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Amazon Art shot the Lightning Lane for show. Mike Dowdall trains the 6-year-old Geartogear-Penny's Fortune gelding, who extended his lifetime earnings to $179,155, for Keith Pippi.

Screen The Call converted a pocket trip to victory when he blew by the leader, American Paparazzi, in the lane and downed him by a neck for Dan Rawlings, trainer Scot Davidson and owner Ameer Najor. Waylon Hanover rallied for show. It was the fifth win in the last six starts for the 7-year-old son of American Ideal-Last Night, who boosted his career bankroll to $185,645.

Elsewhere on Saturday's card, Doctor RJ peeled off cover around the final turn for Eric Goodell and roared through the stretch to take the $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life Pace in 1:51.3, fastest mile this year at The Meadows. Achilles Blue Chip closed well for place, 3/4 lengths back, with the first-over Artache Hanover third. Paul Kennedy conditions Doctor RJ, a 7-year-old Real Artist-Informant gelding who now boasts $230,710 in lifetime earnings, for Robyn Kennedy and Pippi.

Merriman piloted four winners on the 15-race card while Tony Hall and trainer Randy Bendis each enjoyed a three-bagger.

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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