Pouncing on a late miscue by the leader, Keystone Abbey avoided the breaker and poured through the lane to capture Saturday’s $70,000 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters at The Meadows. It was the fourth straight victory for the daughter of Cantab Hall-Miss Aultsville, who previously swept three divisions in the Pennsylvania Stallion Series.
Keystone Abbey inherited the lead briefly for Aaron Merriman when Nomo Volo powered to the point from post 9 only to jump it off. That was the signal for Dave Palone to quarter-pole to the top with Fade Into You, the 6-5 favorite off several fine performances in PA Sires Stakes. Fade Into You had little trouble thwarting the backside challengers but made an unforced break — Palone indicated he couldn’t pinpoint a reason for it — as they straightened out from the final turn.
Merriman, meanwhile, said the leader’s break did him no favor.
“I don’t know how much trot David had when he ran, but I had a lot of trot left,” Merriman said. “The break probably was the worst thing for my horse. I had to jerk her sideways, and she almost took herself up — she has a little attention issue. I was nervous about it, but she was well in hand before that.”
Keystone Abbey retained her composure and held off Giant Possession by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:56.3, a career best. Rush Lane finished third at a whopping 60-1. It was one of three victories for Merriman on the 13-race card.
Chris Beaver trains Keystone Abbey, a $15,000 yearling acquisition who soared over $100,000 in lifetime earnings, and owns with Donald Robinson, Martin Yoder and R.B. H. Ventures. Beaver previously indicated the filly would be pointed to the PA All-Stars at Pocono.
Elsewhere on the card, the $20,000 Open Handicap Pace billed as “The Battle of the Millionaires” Dancin Yankee and Dapper Dude, became a TKO early as Dancin Yankee seized control despite a parked-out 26.2 opening panel. He drew off to prevail by 4 lengths in 1:50.2 for Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owner Burke Racing Stable. The 11-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Dancewiththebest now boasts career earnings of $1,930.587.