Goes Down Smooth sets track, stake records in Keystone Classic at The Meadows
WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 21, 2019 — Goes Down Smooth drew away from the field late with a powerful finishing kick that carried him to victory in a track-record 1:52.3 in Saturday’s $75,299 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters at The Meadows. The mile lowered the mark set by Explosivebreakaway in another Keystone Classic division only about 30 minutes earlier.
The event was contested over three divisions, with Lindy’s Crazy Hall taking the other split.
Goes Down Smooth battled three wide for the early lead, but after Matt Kakaley gave him a 29 second-quarter breather, the Muscle Hill-Peach Martini gelding made a shambles of the race, defeating Nextroundsonme by a widening 9-1/2 lengths. Darty finished third.
“ I let him trot out a little bit, but he did it real easy today,” Kakaley said. “He’s been good for quite a while now.”
Ron Burke trains the winner, who vaulted over $200,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, William Switala, James Martin and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The time also is a stake record and the fastest this year by a sophomore gelding trotter on a five-eighths-mile track.
While Explosivebreakaway’s 1:52.4 performance will go down as one of the most fleeting track records in The Meadows history, he had plenty to celebrate. He found the pocket for Tom Jackson in a blistering 26 opening panel. The Explosive Matter-Phaeton gelding brushed outside through the lane and downed Kate’s Massive by 3-1/4 lengths, with Stonebridge Symba third.
“I wasn’t worried about my horse finishing; I was worried about the horse in front of me carrying me far enough,” Jackson said. “He took me plenty far enough. We changed his shoes after his last race here, and he’s been a different horse ever since.”
Fred Grant trains Explosivebreakaway, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $131,925, and owns with Janice Rubin, Steven Katz and Murray Brown.
$75,300 Keystone Classic — 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pacers
Pyro and Highlandbeachlover captured the divisions in Saturday’s other Keystone Classic.
Kakaley hustled Pyro to the point from the rail and eschewed the opportunity to release a pair of early challengers and take a covered trip.
“ I wanted to line them up and have my colt in front, give him a shot on the lead,” he said. “I thought he was the best. He dug in, and he was good.”
Kakaley knew his horse, as Pyro prevailed in 1:50.3, 1/2 length better than Waterway. Lyons Night Hawk completed the ticket.
Pyro, a Sweet Lou-Whetstone Hanover gelding, now boasts $170,266 in earnings for Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, Phillip Collura and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
Highlandbeachlover scored impressively in 1:51.1 after a desultory first quarter that frustrated Aaron Merriman, who couldn’t put the Somebeachsomewhere-Rockn Highland gelding where he wanted to.
“This horse isn’t the easiest horse to drive, so I really didn’t have a plan, to be honest with you,” Merriman said. “This horse has some go, but there’s nothing real easy about him. He was very resilient today. He’s usually not a front-end horse, but I thought I better put him in the best stop to win,”
Aflame Hanover was second, beaten 1-1/4 lengths, with He’s Packin third. The judges reviewed the actions of three horses, including the winner, before declaring the race official with the order of finish unchanged. Desyllas Racing, Elmore’s Races Horses and William Beck campaign Highlandbeachlover. Winning trainer Kelly O’Donnell indicated the horse is eligible for stakes at the Red Mile but that his schedule has not been determined.
In the $20,000 Open Handicap Pace, Windsong Leo made it three straight with a two-move victory in 1:49.2 for Dave Palone, trainer Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Collura. The 7-year-old Jereme’s Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding extended his lifetime earnings to $517,900.
Burke fashioned a four-bagger while Tony Hall, Kakaley and Palone each piloted three winners on the 14-race card.
Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the program features a pair of Keystone Classics for 3-year-old fillies — a $65,500 trot and a $59,300 pace. First post is 1:05 PM.