Day At The Track

Merton scores four

10:24 AM 09 Apr 2021 NZST
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Sb Mikes Hot Beach, harness racing Greg Merton, harness racing
Merton and Sb Mikes Hot Beach come down the lane in the 12th
Geri Schwarz Photo
A close-up of Greg Merton in the sulky
Geri Schwarz Photo
Harness racing driver Greg Merton won four of Monticello Raceway's 13 on Thursday, Apr. 8, including the two conditioned co-features.
Merton began his day on the right foot, capitalizing on a leader's break with Junior's Dew in the opener. He placed the seven-year-old into the pocket spot through the quarter in :28.1 and followed leader No Stone Unturned (Jim Devaux) to the half in :58.1.
No Stone Unturned promptly went off stride at that point, gifting the lead to Juniors Dew who led to three-quarters in 1:27.2 and opened up a three-and-a-quarter-length gap in the lane for a 1:56.1 win. Stop Action (Brandon Parker) came from last to take the place spot, and Our Regal Ideal N (Cory Stratton) was third.
Juniors Dew is now 14-for-105 with more than $95,000 in earnings. Ashley Eldred trains the Western Ideal gelding for Marianna Monaco of Poughquag.
The horse paid $4 to win.
After winning two more in between, Merton took the other co-feature in a wire-to-wire romp with Sb Mikes Hot Beach.
He sent the journeyman stallion to the lead immediately, taking the front end unopposed. Sb Mikes Hot Beach settled in, guiding the field through splits of :28.3, :58.1, and 1:27.3 before leaving the pack behind in the final quarter in a 1:56.1 win by five and a half lengths.
Runhappy Ten (Jim Devaux) was best of the remainder in second, and Cee Pee Panic (Michael Merton) took show money.
Candace Brandsetter trains Sb Mikes Hot Beach for Nicole Mason of Freedom. The 13-year-old horse by Magical Mike has won 45 races in a 276-race career and earned more than $355,000.
Merton and his brother, Michael, combined for six victories on the day. Greg also won aboard Rise Up Now (1:58.2) in the second and Ok Galahad (1:56.4) in the 10th. Michael visited the winner's circle after the sixth and ninth with Mikey Boy (1:58.1) and Donau (1:57.3), respectively. Another Merton sibling, Thomas, trained Donau.
Also on the card, Joseph Pennacchio won the North American Driving Association 4th Leg trot with 50-1 longshot Keystone Blade. Pennacchio contested the early lead with his charge before settling for the pocket spot, then came back around at three-quarters and out-kicked the rest of the field to win by two and three quarter lengths in 1:59.2.
Keystone Blade and Pennacchio won their first NAADA appearance of the season on Mar. 25. Keystone Blade, an eight-year-old Yankee Glide gelding, is trained by Cory Stratton for Joe P Racing LLC of Delray Beach. The horse is 23-for-161 lifetime with just shy of $175,000 earned. He paid $102 to win.
For full race results, click here.
by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink
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