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HARAMBE DEO HUGE IN BIG M FEATURE

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Harambe Deo put on a show Saturday night at The Meadowlands in taking the $20,000 high-end conditioned pacing feature in a lifetime-best 1:48.4.
“He’s never predictable,” said trainer Jeff Cullipher. “But he will come up large sometimes and then sometimes he’ll get beat when you think he shouldn’t.”
The 5-year-old gelded son of Woodstock-Tea Time came up large this time.
Driver Simon Allard had the gas pedal all the way down from post six in the seven-horse field (there was one scratch), and to make sure he put 2-1 second choice Western Joe in the two-hole, paced the opening fraction in a sensational :25.4.
“When I saw that quarter,” said Cullipher. “I said ‘he’s cooked’.”
Geez Joe, the 8-5 favorite, sat a three-hole early before powering up to grab the top at the half in a quick :53.3 as Harambe Deo yielded and sat the pocket.
But on the far turn – to his trainer’s surprise – Harambe Deo pulled out of the two-hole and came after the leader at three-quarters (1:22.1), opened up a 1½-length edge turning for home, then drew clear through the stretch to defeat Geez Joe by 2¼ lengths. Wes Delight was third.
“[Harambe Deo] is usually right there,” said Cullipher. “But I was surprised Simon kept him alive.”
As the fourth choice in the wagering, Harambe Deo – who paced his final quarter in :26.2 – returned $18.80 to win. He now has 15 victories from 80 lifetime starts and earnings of $242,619 for owners Pollack Racing and Jeff Cullipher.
THREE PEATS: Cullipher’s night did not merely consist of winning the feature, as he sent three to victory lane. … Bruce Saunders matched Cullipher by also training three winners on the card. … Corey Callahan topped the drivers with three scores.
A LITTLE MORE: Franco Totem N flexed his back-class muscles in taking the first of two Fall Harvest Series Finals (for non-winners of $4,500) on the pace by 3¾ lengths, and in the process, lowered his previous lifetime best by a full second after hitting the wire in 1:49. George Napolitano Jr. drove the 7-year-old gelded son of Changeover-Treaty Franco, who was the even-money public choice, for trainer Nifty Norman. …  Decision Day and Callahan worked out a perfect pocket trip to take the other division (this one for non-winners of $7,600) as the 8-5 second choice. The Saunders trained 5-year-old gelded son of Rock N Roll-Chief Karen hit the wire in 1:49, also lowering his previous lifetime best by a full second. … All-source wagering totaled $2,245,221. … Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.


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