08/17/2017 10:44AM

The Meadows: Fear The Dragon, Huntsville hook up in PASS on Friday

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Chris Gooden
Fear The Dragon edged out Huntsville in the Adios in late July.

When Fear The Dragon and Huntsville dueled for nearly the entire back half of this year’s Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids before Fear The Dragon edged away, it made for one of the most thrilling races in the 51 editions of the classic.

Now these two stars will renew their rivalry in Friday’s $140,828 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows — and they’ve drawn into the same division, which goes as race 4. David Miller will drive Fear The Dragon from post 5 while Tim Tetrick guides Huntsville from post 6.

The card will have an Adios feel to it; six other participants in this year’s Pace for the Orchids — Blood Line, Boogie Shuffle, Eddard Hanover, Filibuster Hanover, R J P and Western Hill — will compete in the PASS, while Adios alums Highalator, Independent One and Southwind Yukon have dropped into the PA Stallion Series stake that is Friday’s co-feature. Thus, of the 14 colts who started in the Adios, 11 will race Friday at The Meadows.

The program gets underway at the special post time of 5 PM.

Race 4 pits the top-rated Standardbred in North America (Fear The Dragon) and the third-ranked Huntsville. Their bank accounts also have much in common, as Fear The Dragon now boasts lifetime earnings exceeding $1.22 million for trainer Brian Brown and owner Emerald Highlands Farm while Huntsville has amassed a bankroll of more than $1.57 million for trainer Ray Schnittker and owners Ted Gewertz, Steven Arnold, Crawford Farms Racing and Schnittker.

Fear The Dragon retained his top ranking despite a tough loss in the Carl Milstein at Northfield Park when his stablemate, Downbytheseaside, rallied and got up late.

“I thought he was great in the Milstein; I didn't think ‘Seaside’ would beat him,” Brown said. “When you pace the back half in 53 3/5, you usually don't get beat. He’s training very lightly this week — one easy trip Tuesday, jogging every day.”

While Fear The Dragon drew inside Huntsville, Brown expects the son of Dragon Again-Armbro Cinnamon to be in pursuit mode again.

“I don't see us on the front, but I can’t say it won’t happen because determining that is David’s job.”

Although Downbytheseaside is Pennsylvania eligible, he’s competed in only one PASS leg and couldn’t earn enough points to reach the championship. Therefore, Brown said, he’s pointing ‘Seaside’ to The Messenger.

Huntsville has enjoyed a week off following his victory in the Cane Pace. Schnittker said he doesn’t expect any change in tactics for the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show.

“I never discuss that with Tim,” Schnittker said, “but it sure would be nice to beat this guy sometime.”

--edited release (Evan Pattak for The Meadows)