Billy Flynn bears out but stays undefeated

07:31 PM 26 Jul 2014 NZST
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Billy Flynn Smokinmombo
The victory kept Billy Flynn undefeated in his three-race career
Smokinmombo used a quick backside burst to put away the field

WASHINGTON, PA, July 26, 2014 -- Billy Flynn bore out in the stretch but still had enough forward momentum to equal the stake record in Friday's $80,000 Arden Downs at The Meadows. The Grand Circuit event for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters, known as the Edward M. Ryan, was contested over four divisions, with Explosive Drama, Shoot The Thrill, Billy Flynn and Canappealformore taking the other splits.

Grand Circuit racing at The Meadows continues Saturday with the $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented By Coors Light, which goes as race 12 with an approximate post time of 4 PM.

Billy Flynn quarter-poled to the front for Brett Miller and appeared to have the race well in hand when he drifted wide in the lane. That presented an opportunity to Tick Tok Tag, who made up some ground but fell 3/4 lengths short, with Ralph R third. The winning time of 1:56.2 matched the mark set by Federalreservenote in 2009.

"He'll do that (bear out) a little bit every time," said Staffan Lind, who trains the son of Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones for Bender Sweden, Inc. "We've looked at it a number of times. As long as he's in control in the turns, I'm not too worried. We had the head pole pretty tight here, but if I race him on a big track, I'll take off the head pole, and he won't bear out at all."

The victory kept Billy Flynn undefeated in his three-race career.

Explosive Drama kept his wits about him for Mike Simons when the leader, Ice O Late, broke stride in front of him, and he went on to score in 1:57.3, 2 lengths better than Bighandsbiggloves. Chef Lee completed the ticket.

"Mike wanted to give him a little bit of a trip, and things worked out," said Tyler Butenschoen, assistant to winning trainer John Butenschoen. "He was real sharp here tonight. I didn't know what to expect with the step up in class. But he's always had it in him. It's nice to see him put it all together."

Give It A Shot Stable and VIP Internet stable campaign the Explosive Matter-Phillycityhall gelding.

$60,000 Arden Downs, 2-Year-Old Filly Trotters

The Judge Joe McGraw was the Grand Circuit co-feature on Friday's card, with divisions going to Smokinmombo, Matter Hatter and Osteo Blast -- each a daughter of Explosive Matter. Mike Wilder enjoyed a stake double behind Matter Hatter and Osteo Blast.

Smokinmombo used a quick backside burst to put away the field and triumph in 1:56.2, a tick off the stake record, for Aaron Merriman. Blessings Counted was second, a length back, while Kirsi Hanover completed the ticket.

"She doesn't seem awesome when she's on the front, but when you pull her off another horse, she can really go," said Chris Beaver, who trains Smokinmombo, a $15,000 yearling acquisition, and owns with Synerco Ventures and James Gallagher. "She has a nice body to her. She's not very big, but she's built nice."

Beaver said he'll give the filly some time off before her next engagement, a Pennsylvania Sires Stake.

Hammered down to 1-5 in the wagering, Matter Hatter performed like the prohibitive choice, moving to the front at the quarter and dominating the field in 1:58.2. Classical Annie was second, 2-1/4 lengths in arrears, with Sand C-Four third.

"She's a dream to drive," Wilder said. "Anything you ask her to do, she does it, and she's very slick gaited. You can wind her right up and in the next step ask her to stop, and she does."

Jeff Cox conditions Matter Hatter for Pius Soehnlen.

Evan Pattak

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