Cammikey overcomes bobble, still wins PASS

09:00 AM 08 Jun 2014 NZST
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Cammikey, harness racing Seventh Secret, harness racing
Cammikey and Brian Zendt win a $99,500 PASS division
Seventh Secret (#4) wins from the outside for driver Mike Wilder

WASHINGTON, PA, June 7, 2014 -- Overcoming a misstep at the gate that cost him key early position, Cammikey made up 5-1/2 lengths with a Lightning Lane charge that carried him to victory in Saturday's $199,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows in a career-best 1:49.4. Seventh Secret rallied wide to take the other division of the event for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers known as the Bye Bye Byrd.

Cammikey, ordinarily a well-mannered colt, took exception to the starting gate and got fumbly gaited. By the time Brian Zendt could steady him, Cammikey was away fifth.

"He's always been a great leaver," Brian Zendt said. "Today, he wanted to go over top of the gate and just got a little rumbly leaving. The only good thing -- that probably saved me from getting in the middle of a speed battle."

Rather than swing the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Always Cam wide, Zendt hugged the cones with him and poured through a beckoning Lightning Lane. Cammikey defeated Some Playa by a length, with At Press Time third. Cammikey now has won seven of 11 career starts and $117,538.

"You couldn't drive him any worse than that," Brian Zendt said, "but I had all kinds of luck, and when I needed him late, he was there. He just blew by them. It didn't work out like I planned at all, but I guess that's why it's horse racing."

Bill Zendt, who conditions Cammikey for owner/breeder Can Land LLC and has been spacing the colt's starts generously, indicated he'll continue to do so, pointing him to the June 21 Max Hempt Memorial eliminations at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

"He hadn't raced in three weeks before today, and I trained him once in 2:04," Bill Zendt said. "He doesn't take a lot of work. We don't want to over-race him. He goes like heck and tries like heck, but he's not very big."

Seventh Secret also found himself in a precarious position -- sixth with excess cover in front of him. But when Mike Wilder sent him six wide in the stretch, the son of Allamerican Native-Secret Song found another gear and roared home to defeat Kingofthejungle by a nose in 1:50.2. Early leader Bondi Hanover saved show.

"I loved the fractions, and my horse loves a target. He gets to the house so well," Wilder said. "But I was definitely worried about how far I was back with the cover flow. To come that wide and pick them all up like that -- it was all him. I just pointed him, and he took off."

Dan Altmeyer trains the homebred Seventh Secret, who extended his career bankroll to $166,261, for Ruth Altmeyer.

Aaron Merriman drove three winners on the 13-race Belmont Day card.

by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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