Day At The Track

Happy Anniversary for the Butenschoens

03:30 PM 11 Aug 2016 NZST
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Dover Dan Giveitgasandgo
Dover Dan winning a PASS split Wednesday at The Meadows.
Giveitgasandgo winning a PASS split Wednesday at The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 10, 2016 -- With their schedule so busy, harness racing trainer John Butenschoen and his wife, Jackie, weren't planning anything special for Wednesday, their 30th wedding anniversary. But they got something special anyway -- Pennsylvania Sires Stake victories at The Meadows from John Butenschoen trainees Dover Dan and Giveitgasandgo. Corey Callahan piloted both colts. The $184,096 stake for freshman colt and gelding trotters, known as the Florida Pro, was contested over four divisions, with Muscles Jared and You Can't Habit taking the other splits.

Their anniversary was something of a homecoming for Jackie Butenschoen, who grew up in Washington County. Her father, the late Jack Kiger, was a blacksmith at The Meadows when the track opened in 1963. John composed an anniversary message to Jackie and posted it on Facebook, then gave her yet another present.

"I put her to work," he joked.

As is his custom, Dover Dan lagged near the rear before launching a decisive first-over move that carried him to his second PASS win in as many tries for owners William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick. He scored in 1:57, 1-3/4 lengths better than early leader Muay Hanover, with Phi Alpha third. Butenschoen said that rallying style suits Dover Dan for now.

"He's been wanting to get a little anxious and keyed up," he said. "Today, we just wanted to make sure he got off the gate trotting. He has the ability; it's just a matter of keeping him focused. As long as he races like he's racing, I don't see any need (to send him)."

Muscles Jared quarter-poled to the front for John Campbell and had little problem from there, prevailing in a stake-fastest 1:56.1. Box Of Luck was second, 2-3/4 lengths back, while Andy M completed the ticket. Since trainer George Ducharme added hopples for Alfred Ross' gelded son of Muscle Massive-Tetiana, the colt has two wins in as many outings.

"That really helps a lot of young trotters," Campbell said. "It steadies them when they need it the most. They have more confidence with their gait. He felt good. I was impressed with him the night he raced at the Meadowlands, and he came back as good or better. In the last turn, he looked around and thought it was all over. I got his attention back, and he picked it up in the lane."

You Can't Habit also converted an uncovered move to victory, triumphing in 1:57 for Brett Miller, trainer John McDermott and owner 4 Leaf Racing. Moonshiner Hanover was second, 2-1/4 lengths in arrears, while Affair Of Honor -- another from the Butenschoen stable -- earned show.

"He's such a nice horse -- he really loves his work," McDermott said of the son of Cantab Hall-Habit Of Creature, a $55,000 yearling acquisition. "As long as he's not going too fast, he can get it done. He's staked very lightly. We want to make him into a nice 3-year-old and aged horse."

In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, I Know My Chip extended his winning streak to four when he zipped by his stablemate, Tall Cotton, to down him by 1/2 length in 1:54.3. Classicality was third. Callahan drove the 4-year-old Deep Chip-Madeline's Crown gelding, who now boasts $447,793 in career earnings, for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura.

Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday when the action-packed card features the $147,500 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters and two events for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers: a $160,760 PASS and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake. First post is 1 PM.

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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