Day At The Track

Phoenix Warrior N seeks 14th this year

02:46 AM 22 Dec 2018 NZDT
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Phoenix Warrior N, harness racing
Phoenix Warrior N
Chris Gooden Photo

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 21, 2018 -- Some horses are fast, some consistent. When you combine speed and consistency, you get Phoenix Warrior N, who'll try for his 14th harness racing win this year Saturday at The Meadows. The 8-year-old Jereme's Jet-Never Walk Alone gelding leaves from post 4 in the $20,000 Preferred Pace (race 8) with Jim Pantaleano aboard.

First post is 1:05 PM.

Phoenix Warrior N has rolled up those wins competing against the track's elite. Moreover, he's finished in the money in 26 of his 28 starts despite some hellacious trips. It's not unusual for him to be parked most of the mile and still be gaining in deep stretch.

"He just loves to chase horses down and come off cover," says his trainer, Scott Betts. "He's had some big miles on the front, but some of his best miles are from doing things horses shouldn't do."

Owners Tim Betts, Nicholas Catalano and Stephen Moss purchased Phoenix Warrior N privately about a year ago for $85,000. It was immediately clear that he had talent, determination and quirks.

"He's a little bit squirrely," Betts acknowledges. "Sometimes when you train him, he's real nice. Other times he wants to train himself the wrong way on the track, or he'll put his head down and gallop. He has his little routine, and we've learned to just stick with it."

Betts pays special attention to his star's feet. Every three weeks or so, trainer/blacksmith Tyler Raymer ships in from Delaware to adjust the shoeing for Phoenix Warrior N and the rest of Betts' stable.

Although he's bumped his lifetime bankroll up to $369,853, Saturday's race won't be a cakewalk for Phoenix Warrior N. He'll be facing such tough cookies as Anythingforlove A, who's hit the ticket in 14 of 17 outings this year, and Arthur Pendragon, winner of two straight. But he won't be up against his archrival, Windsong Leo, who's pinned nine losses on Phoenix Warrior N this year.

"That helps," Betts concedes.

Win or lose Saturday, Phoenix Warrior N likely will enjoy a break soon.

"We'll probably give him a month off; we'll let him tell us when," Betts says. "He went to the Meadowlands for a series last year, and we're talking about doing that again. He's an okay shipper."

The pre-Christmas weekend at The Meadows kicks off with a special Friday card when the track and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) celebrate Caretaker Appreciation Night. Caretakers will be presented with hoodies as well as soup and sandwiches from the paddock kitchen. In addition, the MSOA will raffle off cash and gift cards for caretakers.

First post Friday is 5:30 PM.

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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