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News and Insight On Winbak Farm

Read below for the latest on Winbak Achievements and graduates. Stories are from the leading industry news sources.

Favourites Falter In Simpson Memorial

Sunday, October 6, 2019  By: Standardbred Canada
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Favourites tasted defeat in all four divisions of the John Simpson Memorial for two-year-old colts and geldings on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 6) at Harrah's Philadelphia, and all four winners took lifetime marks.

Blank Stare ($19.00) took top honours among 14 freshman pacing males, dueling prohibitive favourite Lake Charles for a 1:52.4 victory in the first of two $49,700 divisions of the Bret Hanover.

Corey Callahan angled the gelded son of Bolt The Duer-Hypnotize first over from fourth as Pennsylvania Stallion Series standout Lake Charles rated a :57.2 half mile. Up the backstretch Blank Stare accelerated to force a quickening pace, sticking a nose in front past three-quarters in 1:24.4 before dueling for the entirety of the far turn. Off the home corner Blank Stare asserted and pushed clear of Lake Charles by one-and-a-half lengths while Diamond Head finished third.

John Butenschoen trains three-time winner Blank Stare for the Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, James Crawford IV and the In Over My Head Stable.

The second Bret Hanover division saw Save Me A Dance ($31.20) and George Napolitano Jr. employ similar first-over tactics to grind down odds-on favourite Cigars And Port on approach to the final turn. The Heston Blue Chip-Dance Hall Girl colt then outlasted a late rally from the second-over JK Lucky Charms by a half length to win in 1:54.2. Alota Chips lifted from third over to narrowly miss the runner-up spot.

Save Me A Dance gave Napolitano one of two stakes wins on the card, and was the second half of a stakes double for owner Robert Key and trainer Andrew Harris.

Key and Harris also prevailed in the first $60,000 division of the Super Bowl for juvenile trotting males when Sky Castles dug in through the far turn to parry a first-over challenge from 6-5 choice Loyal Fox Hanover before sprinting away to win by two-and-three-quarter lengths in 1:56.2. Hopeusteponalego finished a farther three-and-three-quarter lengths behind in third. It was the second career win for the son of Conway Hall and Sand Piper. Jason Bartlett drove the $6.60 winner.

Napolitano completed his stakes double in the second Super Bowl split with Hell Patrol ($10.40). The Yankee Glide-Day At The Spa gelding followed live second-over cover up the backstretch and vaulted three wide to the lead after pacesetter Barley broke stride nearing the top of the stretch. Hell Patrol lifted late to reel in 1-2 favourite Saxon — who inherited the lead from the pocket — by a half length in 1:57.1. Kyrie Deo rallied from third-over to take third.

Marcus Melander trains two-time winner Hell Patrol for Courant Inc.

Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday (Oct. 9), with a 12-race card due to begin at 12:25 p.m. (EDT).

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