Day At The Track

Big Game Hunter wins second straight

02:15 PM 21 Feb 2016 NZDT
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The Meadows
The Meadows

Big Game Hunter held off the late challenge of Valiente Stride to capture his second straight harness racing victory in Saturday's second leg of the Winter Claiming Series for $20,000 horse and gelding pacers at The Meadows. Sawbuck Hanover and Want Me also took $15,000 second-leg splits.

Sent straight to the front by Aaron Merriman, Big Game Hunter easily parried the first-over bid of Mr Coolie but then had to deal with the stretch charge of Valiente Stride. The 6-year-old Geartogear-Penny's Fortune gelding downed Valiente Stride by a neck in 1:54, while Mr Coolie saved show. Mike Dowdall trains Big Game Hunter, who now boasts $161,405 in career earnings, for Keith Pippi.

The card also featured the second leg of the Winter Claiming Series for $10,000 claiming horse and gelding pacers, with Screen The Call and Waylon Hanover each winning $8,000 divisions. The championships of both Winter Claiming Series are set for Saturday, Feb. 27.

Elsewhere on Saturday's program, Rockin Ron stretched his winning streak to four with a facile victory -- from post 9 -- in the $22,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace. The first-over Artache Hanover was second, 3-1/2 lengths back, with Dew N Doughnuts third. Dave Palone drove the 4-year-old Real Desire-Im All A Roan gelding, who extended his career bankroll to $157,418, for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables.

Tony Hall, Merriman and Palone each enjoyed a three-bagger on the 15-race card.

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Register now for The Meadows Live Bankroll Handicapping Contest set for Saturday, March 5, with a guaranteed $5,000 prize pool. Cost is $100, with $50 allocated to the prize pool and $50 to each player's bankroll. Registered players can enjoy the free lunch buffet in the Triple Crown Banquet Room and will receive a free March 5 Meadows race program. Winner gets 50 percent of the prize pool, with 25 percent for second place, 12 percent for third place, 8 percent for fourth place and 5 percent for fifth place. To register now, call 724.503.1509 or visit the Retail Center in the Racebook. Event-day registration begins at 11:30 AM.

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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