Day At The Track

Parked the mile, Final Answer still a winner

11:10 AM 09 Aug 2018 NZST
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Final Answer, harness racing Katie's Massive, harness racing
Final Answer and trainer/driver Anthony MacDonald
Chris Gooden photo
Katie's Massive and trainer/driver Ray Paver
Chris Gooden photo

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 8, 2018 -- Parked every step, Final Answer still found more in the stretch and collected a maiden-breaking victory in Wednesday's $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake at The Meadows.

The event for freshman colt and gelding trotters was contested over five divisions, with Kate's Massive, Forecast, Natl Guard Hanover and Cantab Ed also taking splits. Mike Wilder enjoyed a stake double behind Forecast and Natl Guard Hanover.

Final Answer launched his career in the tougher PA Sires Stakes but couldn't maintain his gait. Thus, on Wednesday, Anthony MacDonald was content to float on the outside and let the youngster cut his own mile.

"He has a lot of talent, but he's very green and still makes mistakes," McDonald said. "I just wanted to keep him out of harm's way, and I thought he was as good or better than the others. So the trip was more or less by design."

The Yankee Glide-Armbro Talk gelding surged late and defeated Winning Legends, a 23-1 bomber, by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:59.1, with Big Bad Caviar third. Andrew Harris trains Final Answer for Thestable Finalanswer Group.

Kate's Massive had won both career starts in which he'd stayed flat, so the job of trainer/driver Ray Paver on Wednesday was to keep him focused.

"He needs to pay attention, and I need to pay attention -- a little of both," Paver said. "His mind wanders a lot. If we make the final, he'll have the Keystone Classic here next. That'll be it for the year."

Kate's Massive minded his manners and made short work of the field, triumphing on the front end in 1:59.1. Star Caviar was a ground-saving second, 4-1/2 lengths back, while Capt Chaps Hanover completed the ticket. A homebred son of Muscle Massive-Sister Kate, Kate's Massive campaigns for Harry Horowitz and Iris Horowitz.

Forecast left alertly but was shuffled and appeared hopelessly locked in entering the final turn. When Casanova's Jewel jumped it off to his outside, however, Wilder was able to angle the son of Cantab Hall-Downpour off the cones. Once he saw racetrack, Forecast accelerated and downed the previously undefeated Faithfulandtrue by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:59.3. Angus Hanover earned show.

"I probably should have pulled him first up," Wilder said. "The reason I didn't was, when I cleared in the first turn, he kind of got lost on me and was a little off the bit. I was afraid that I might clear too early. I gambled and stayed in. When I did get him out, he had a lot of steam."

John Butenschoen trains Forecast for William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick.

Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the card features the Florida Pro, a $181,388 PA Sires Stake for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 1:05 PM.

by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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