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THUNDER, GIMPANZEE FOOL FEW IN FRIDAY NIGHT’S 156G LEW BARASCH TROT


Friday's event once again honored the memory of 'Tootie,' whose unmatched PR savvy in the golden age of the game helped make the nascent Roosevelt International Trot a happening.

The evening's first grouping saw odds-on Thunder (Jason Bartlett, $3.10) do it handily in 1:58. From post position No. 2, he made the lead around Brady Bunch (Andy Miller) after an early break of Kredit Karma (Brian Sears). After that, no issues for the fave through dawdling (29.1, 59.2, 1:29) fractions.

Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggart Jr.) tried it first-up from third, settling for second to the winner (as he did at Vernon), with the final margin three lengths. Brady Bunch and Quiksilver Bluchip (catch-driver Jordan Stratton) completed the gimmick finishers.

For Thunder, a son of Conway Hall trained by John Butenschoen for co-owners Crawford Racing, VIP Internet Stables and Jeremey Day, it was his fourth win in eight seasonal starts (all in last five tries). The exacta paid $12.20, the triple returned $17.20 and the superfecta paid $98.50.

"He's handy, he gets over any size tracks and he's getting better," Bartlett said. "We're ready for next week's sire stakes finals here.”

The evening's second $78,800 statebred sojourn was a mismatch on paper and in practice for divisional leader Gimpanzee (Sears, $2.10), making it 6 for 6 ($166,358) during his froshfest.

All the wins have come in New York Sire Stakes competition, the latest after weigh stations of 29, 57.4, 1:28.1 and (identical to first event) 1:58. From post No. 6, he waited his turn to get by an eventually-breaking Captain Krupnik (Dan Dube) and Chapter Fashion (Bartlett).

The latter eventually did the dance of the damned coming to the half, which led to an extremely gapped-out gang. The lead was eight lengths at intermission. Our White Knight (Miller) did cut in that passing the three-quarters, but the outcome was even more death-and-taxes than death-and-taxes.

Gimpanzee won by 3 3/4 lengths, with Out White Knight safely second over Certify (Jeff Gregory) Fourth went to Captain Krupnik, as his break wasn't as costly as the other three misbehavers...even though all four were "distanced" in the chart.

Gimpanzee, a son of Chapter Seven is trained by Marcus Melander for Delray Beach co-owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable, has won his half-dozen starts by a combined 23 1/4 lengths. The exacta paid $23.20, the triple returned $222 and the superfecta paid $920.

Friday night's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by Medusa (Sears, $6.60) in 1:52, the lady's 35th career victory in her 120th start.

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