07/22/2017 4:02PM

The Meadows: Huntsville, Fear The Dragon get the job done in Adios eliminations

Chris Gooden
Huntsville didn't have an easy go of it in his Adios elimination, but he was victorious nonetheless

Meadowlands Pace champion Huntsville and North America Cup/Hempt winner Fear The Dragon set the stage for a showdown in next week's Adios at The Meadows by winning their respective $25,000 eliminations on Saturday afternoon.

Huntsville (Tim Tetrick) parked well past the 26 2/5 opening quarter in the first elimination, but he secured the front from Blood Line (Mark MacDonald) before the 53 4/5 half over the off-going.  R J P (Yannick Gingras), making his first start for trainer Ron Burke, came first-over out of fifth at the half, and he would advance quickly, getting to within half a length of Huntsville at the 1:21 2/5 three-quarters.  Huntsville put R J P away early in the stretch, but Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley) wheeled off the cover and Blood Line came up the passing lane to try and dethrone the 1-9 public choice.  Huntsville parried their attacks as well, though, winning by a neck over Blood Line, with Miso Fast third, R J P fourth, and Highalator (Dave Palone) fifth.

“When you go a half in :53 on an off track, you’re always concerned,” Tetrick said. “It’s not really what I wanted to do. I thought I would get a spot in the first turn, but it closed up. But he got it done, and he’s going to the final. Hopefully it didn’t take too much out of him. I was trying to save as much as I could—that’s why I didn’t open it up. He was awesome. He got brutalized to the half, and he got the job done. The horse raced super.”

A colt by Somebeachsomewhere, Huntsville is owned by trainer Ray Schnittker along with Ted Gewertz and Steve Arnold.  Now with a record of 13-6-0 from 19 starts, Huntsville has earned $1,316,655, and he paid $2.20 to win.

In the other elimination the speedy Hurricane Beach (Dan Dube) set fractions of 26 4/5, 55, and 1:22 1/5, but Fear The Dragon (David Miller) popped first-over out of third at three-quarters, engaged and overtook Hurricane Beach as they turned for home, and held off Western Hill (Dave Palone), who had tracked the cover, to tally by half a length.  Eddard Hanover (Tetrick) was up for third, followed by Hurricane Beach and Lawrencetown Beach (Gingras).  First elimination fifth-place finisher Highalator will be the horse to advance to next Saturday's final by virtue of have higher lifetime earnings than Lawrencetown Beach.

“Normally, when David pulls him and pulls the plug, he’s really pacing forward,” Brown said. “But David was chasing, he was working to make him go. I hope he was just a little short and needed the race. I’ll check everything out—scope and pull blood and do all the normal stuff. I hope everything checks out; if not, we’ll fix whatever it is.”

The victorious Dragon Again colt is trained by Brian Brown for owner Emerald Highlands Farm.  Fear The Dragon, who returned $2.40 to win as the 1-5 favorite, now has 13 lifetime victories and a bankroll of $952,844.Chris GoodenDone Well remained undefeated by winning the fastest PA Sire Stakes division

The undercard featured three $53,055 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes splits for 2-year-old colt pacers, and Brian Brown would also win the fastest of those with Done Well (Tetrick).  Racing in the final section, Done Well overcame post eight to get the lead on the outside at the 27 2/5 opening quarter, and he would not relinquish it from there, defeating Karpathian Kid (Marcus Miller) by two lengths in a 1:52 mile.  Better Watch Out (Gingras) finished third.

Done Well is a Well Said colt owned by James Stambaugh, Wingfield Brothers, Milt Leeman, and Alan Keith.  Done Well, who was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. and sold for $45,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale, is now a perfect three-for-three in his career to go with earnings of $67,855.  He is the second foal out of the Allamerican Native mare Dagnabit Hanover ($304,821).  The 2-5 favorite, he paid $2.40 to win.

Tetrick would also win the opening Pennsylvania Sire Stakes flight with Pedro Hanover in 1:52 2/5.  Positioned last at the 26 4/5 opening quarter and 56 1/5 half, Pedro Hanover got into a live flow and was second-over in fourth at the 1:23 3/5 half.  He would then come three-deep into the stretch and get around This Is The Plan (D. Miller), who gave him the cover, to score by a length and a quarter.  Venier Hanover (David Brickell) came from third-over to finish in the third position.  1-5 favorite Wild Bill (Scott Zeron) suffered his first lifetime defeat as he wound up fifth after trying a passing lane charge from the pocket.

Andrew Harris trains Pedro Hanover, a Somebeachsomewhere colt, for owners Brad Grant and Denise Guerriero.  Pedro Hanover, who broke his maiden in his second try and pushed his bankroll to $28,087, was also bred Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. and fetched $80,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale.  He is the seventh foal out of the Pro Bono Best mare Paula's Best ($269,860), making him a half-brother to the likes of Pirouette Hanover ($608,759).  Pedro Hanover was dispatched at 10-1 and paid $22.20 to win.

The other Pennsylvania Sire Stakes winner on the day was Closing Statement (D. Miller), who halted the clock in 1:52 4/5.  He took the lead away from Sheppard winner Kwik Talkin (Jordan Stratton) beyond the 27 2/5 front quarter, then reached the half in 57 and the three-quarters in 1:24 3/5.  Kwik Talkin came back to the outside from the pocket on the final turn, but he could not get around Closing Statement in the stretch, falling a length short at the wire.  Lucky Leonard (Tetrick) was the third-place finisher.

Another Somebeachsomewhere colt, Closing Statement is trained by Joe Holloway for owners Val D'Or Farms, Rojan Stables, and Ted Gewertz.  Closing Statement, who completed a breeder sweep for Hanover Shoe Farms Inc., is now two-for-three in his brief career to go with $31,527 earned.  A $125,000 Standardbred Horse Sale buy, Closing Statement is the second foal out of the Western Ideal mare Ideal Newton ($629,731), a full sister to Newborn Sassy ($600,915).  The 3-2 second choice behind Kwik Talkin, Closing Statement returned $5.00 to win.

--quotes courtesy of The Meadows--