QUALITY freshman Askmelater Hanover rolled to the front and easily turned back the late challenge of Saxon to score in 1:55.2, fastest division in last night’s $90,299 Keystone Classic at The Meadows.
The event for colt and gelding trotters was contested over three divisions, with Stickler Hanover and Patriarch Hanover taking the other splits.
Saxon stalked Askmelater Hanover from the pocket and moved wide for the stretch drive, but the leader had plenty in the tank and downed Saxon by a length-and-a-half in 1:55.2, with Rock Party third.
“He had the horse he needed to beat on his back,” Dave Palone said. “So I just wanted to stay on the gas around the last turn a little bit and not turn it into a complete sprint.
“He picked me up like a horse is supposed to. When I kicked the plugs out, he trotted back off.”
Julie Miller trains Askmelater Hanover – a son of Explosive Matter – for Scott Woogen and Brenda Messenger.
Also by Explosive Matter, Stickler Hanover scored on the front end in 1:57.1, quickest of his career.
Brady Brown had been racing the youngster primarily from behind but changed his strategy for the Keystone Classic.
“The way the race looked, I figured if I could get to the front and control everything, I didn’t think they’d beat him,” Brown said. “At the three-quarter pole, I kicked out the ear plugs and chirped at him once, and he kept right on trotting.”
Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel, Daniel Goehle and Michael Munn own Stickler Hanover.
Jim Pantaleano and trainer Ron Burke enjoyed four wins on the 14-race card while Dave Palone fashioned a triple.
- EVAN PATTAK