Day At The Track

Record set in $54,000 Maturity Trot

12:13 PM 19 Jun 2016 NZST
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Homicide Hunter
Homicide Hunter winning Saturday’s Meadows Maturity Trot

WASHINGTON, PA, June 18, 2016 -- Winless in four previous starts this year, Homicide Hunter regained his touch Saturday at The Meadows when he shot the Lightning Lane to capture the $54,000 Meadows Maturity Trot for harness racing stallions and geldings 4 and up in 1:51.4, fastest ever by a 4-year-old gelding at The Meadows. The time eclipsed the mark of 1:52.2 established by Rembrandt Spur in 2010 and is only a tick off the track's all-age trotting record.

Homicide Hunter had a monster year last year at 3, winning 16 of 18 starts and $475,677. In his 2016 outings before Saturday, however, the son of Mr Cantab-Evening Prayer was no better than third. Winning driver Dave Palone, who also was named on Il Sogno Dream and Wind Of The North in the Meadows Maturity, selected Homicide Hunter after consulting with trainer Chris Oakes.

"Chris said, 'Before you do anything, you better watch the replay of last week,'" Palone said. "He was super last week and finished up real strong. Chris thought if I got him into the race, he was the best horse, and he was."

Homicide Hunter stalked Muscle Up The Goal from the pocket while Il Sogno Dream, stablemate of Muscle Up The Goal, attacked outside. Palone indicated that wrangling the winner into the Lightning Lane wasn't as easy as it looked.

"It's tough to get enough momentum, especially with a trotter, and he was running out a little bit," Palone said. "I had to kind of stuff him in there and make him go at the same time. He finished up very strong."

Homicide Hunter downed Il Sogno Dream by 1-1/2 lengths while Muscle Up The Goal saved show. Michelle Crawford and Albert Crawford campaign Homicide Hunter, who soared over $600,000 in career earnings.

Elsewhere on Saturday's card, the pocket-sitting Lady's Dude, using Lasix for the first time, outkicked the leader, Tamarind, to defeat him by a nose in 1:53.3 for Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Johnny Yoder. Monte Christo Spur rallied for show. The 5-year-old Victory Sam-Lady's Star gelding extended his lifetime bankroll to $316,533.

Tony Hall and Palone each collected four wins on the 13-race program while Brian Zendt and trainer Randy Bendis each enjoyed a triple.

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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