Day At The Track

Yankee Bounty extends career unbeaten streak to 8

01:45 PM 27 Sep 2014 NZST
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Yankee Bounty, harness racing Dragon Eddy, harness racing Tomy Terror, harness racing
Unbeaten Yankee Bounty scores his eighth straight win
Chris Gooden Photo
Dragon Eddy and driver Mike Simons
Chris Gooden Photo
Tomy Terror (#1) holds off Reggiano (#3) and McArdles Lighting (#4)
Chris Gooden Photo

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 26, 2014 -- Although he was pressed in the stretch, Yankee Bounty extended his harness racing career unbeaten streak to eight by capturing a division of Friday's $91,998 Keystone Classic at The Meadows.

Mike Simons and trainer John Butenschoen teamed to take the other two splits, with Dragon Eddy and Tomy Terror, in the event for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers.

Yankee Bounty quarter-poled to the lead for Eric Ledford, who stepped up when transportation problems prevented regular driver Yannick Gingras from reaching The Meadows. The pocket-sitting Chaching Hanover, who had only a maiden victory to his credit, kept close to his undefeated rival until Yankee Bounty drew off late under mild urging to triumph by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:51.2. Wild Again was third.

Yankee Bounty won his two most recent starts, including the Pennsylvania Sires Stake championship, by a nose and a neck, narrow escapes that may lead some to consider him vulnerable. Don't count Ledford among them.

"He was on the right line just a touch, but there was never any doubt," Ledford said. "They haven't beaten him yet, and I don't foresee them beating him in the near future. You'll be reading a lot about him next year as a 3-year-old."

Ron Burke trains the Yankee Cruiser-Bootleg Yankee gelding, who soared over $300,000 in lifetime earnings, for Yankee Bounty Partnership and Frank Chick.

Yankee Bounty will dominate the headlines, as well he should, but Dragon Eddy emerged from the Keystone Classic with one laurel Yankee Bounty didn't get -- the stake record. He earned it with a front-end score in 1:51.1. UF Larry Alltheway was second, 3 lengths back, while Parklane Eagle rallied for show.

"He's a real quick, real handy horse," said assistant trainer Tyler Butenschoen. "He comes off the car really well. He's been able to get in spots where he could put himself in the race. When he's got to the front, he's been able to control it. He's quick enough that he can accelerate away from them on the end."

William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, Eugene Schick and Edward Bardowski campaign Dragon Eddy, a Dragon Again-Jaska Hanover gelding who now has banked $139,512.

Tomy Terror hadn't been worse than second in eight career outings, a streak that appeared in jeopardy when he was attacked inside and outside while leading through the lane. The Western Terror-Mib Hanover gelding dug in and held off Reggiano by a nose in a career-best 1:52, with McArdles Lightning third.

"He's such a good-feeling horse," Tyler Butenschoen said. "He has a great attitude, and he loves his work. He can get a little lost on the lead, but he'll explode off a helmet."

Wiswell, Goehlen, Schick and VIP Internet Stable own Tomy Terror, who is eligible for such late-season stakes as the Breeders Crown and the Matron.

In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Southern Allie made the lead first over and held off the rallying Shock It To 'Em by a head to prevail in 1:51. Camcruiser Hanover completed the ticket. Randy Bendis conditions the 7-year-old Allie's Western-Pershing Angela gelding, who extended his career bankroll to $747,754, and owns with Tom Pollack, Jack Piatt II and R. Lewis Hauber.

Dave Palone drove five winners and Simons three on the 16-race card.

Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the card features a pair of Keystone Classics -- a $90,000 stake for three-year-old filly pacers and a $71,200 test for sophomore filly trotters. First post is 12:55 PM.

by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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