07/28/2017 10:45PM

The Meadows: Gillespie honors his grandfather again in Arden Downs

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Chris Gooden
Tymal Advocate kept his head on straight in his Ryan division Friday evening

Owner Brian Gillespie dearly wanted to compete in the 2016 Edward M. Ryan, an Arden Downs Grand Circuit stake for freshman colt and gelding trotters named for Gillespie’s late grandfather, a former owner of The Meadows who also was a generous philanthropist and accomplished horseman. Alas, Gillespie lacked a suitable horse.  But he had good friends in Brocious Racing Stable and trainer Robert Rougeaux III, who, on the eve of the Ryan, offered Gillespie’s Lone Wolf Stable a piece of their horse, Box Of Luck. That colt made Ryan-Gillespie family history when he captured a Ryan split.

Fast forward a year. The Ryan is fast approaching, and Gillespie has no candidate for it. Brocious and Rougeaux step up again, selling Lone Wolf an interest in Tymal Advocate. On Friday at The Meadows, it was déjà vu all over again as Tymal Advocate won a Ryan division.

The prospects for a Tymal Advocate victory were uncertain at best; he came into the Ryan a five-race maiden and a handful.

“We contacted Brian and offered him a little piece because we know how that is with family,” Rougeaux said of the Donato Hanover-Tymal Abracadabra gelding. “You want a shot to win a race named after your grandfather. But this horse is a different bird — he’s wired hot. If you can keep him pointed north, he’s okay. We keep him off the track. We jog him down the roads, through the creeks, and he loves it.”

In the Ryan, Tymal Advocate made a decisive quarter-pole move in the slop for Brian Zendt and drew away to down Cfour Po by four lengths, with Raising Kerckhaert third.

What A Hunk and Canale Hanover also took divisions of the $49,564 Ryan. What A Hunk moved three wide down the backside to triumph in 1:59 3/5 for Dave Palone, trainer Bill Daugherty Jr. and owner Susan Daugherty. Early leader Conservator finished second, 4 1/2 lengths back, while Mister Ruff earned show.

Daugherty, a successful trainer at Pennsylvania’s raceways and fairs, is known for plucking bargains at auctions and developing them into profitable propositions. With What A Hunk, he changed his M.O.

“Things are getting tougher — I gave $22,000 for him,” he said. “”I gave $27,000 for a yearling once. I’m spending a little money; I don’t like to. Everybody wants to buy them for $4,000, but that doesn’t always happen.”

$49,230 Arden Downs — 2-Year-Old Filly Trotters

Friday’s Adios Eve card also featured the Judge Joe McGraw, a $49,230 Arden Downs Grand Circuit stake for freshman filly trotters, with Zoe Bi, Explosive G and Fish Is Fish winning the divisions. Zoe Bi was fastest, scoring in 1:57 4/5 after being parked the first three-eighths, but she had to survive a bout of what winning driver Aaron Merriman called “crankiness.”

“I could have got her right out of there; I was just waiting,” Merriman said. “She was just extremely cranky today, and I didn’t want to gear her up early. She warmed up cranky. She was lunging in the post parade, wouldn’t turn. But her talent definitely overrides all that.”

First Class Act was 8 1/4 lengths back in second, with Keystone Carly third.  Chris Beaver trains Zoe Bi, a daughter of Donato Hanover-Octavia Bi who has won three of her four career starts, and owns with Marion Beachy and Synerco Ventures.

Explosive G had been racing off-the-trot, so when trainer/driver Wilbur Yoder sent her to the front at the quarter, the daughter of Explosive Matter-Vacation’s Over was temporarily out of her comfort zone.

“She got a little lost there,” Yoder said. “When she got her head in front, she thought it was over. I had to coax her a little bit and pull the plugs. When she got to the front, she was okay. When she gets to the front, she fights.”

She defeated Win Treasures by a neck in 1:59 4/5, while Nicole Hanover completed the ticket. Robert Hess owns Explosive G, a $47,000 yearling acquisition.

Fish Is Fish unleashed an explosive three-wide move down the backside that surprised Dirk Simpson, who conditions the daughter of Andover Hall-Drinks Like A Fish for Ed Teefey.

“I was a little concerned,” Simpson said of his $14,000 yearling purchase. “I thought she would get a great second-over trip, and then she had to do all that work on the backside. She got a little lazy in the last turn, but when she heard a horse coming, she picked the bit up and finished well.”

Fish Is Fish had just enough to hold off Diamondstone Us by a neck in 1:59, with Reiza third.

Friday’s card also featured the $20,000 Walter “Boots” Dunn Memorial Trot, a Preferred Handicap that honored the memory of the late trainer, driver, breeder and fairs official. Call For Justice prevailed for Dave Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC., one of five wins for Palone on the 15-race program. It was the 12th consecutive victory at The Meadows for the 5-year-old son of Justice Hall-Mika’s Mazurka, although losses at other tracks have been sprinkled in, who extended his career bankroll to $390,917.

--press release (The Meadows)--