Homeracing

Meadowlands and Yonkers offer solid Saturday cards

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Ted Black

April 28th, 2019

One week before horse racing fans will gather for the latest renewal of the Grade I, $2 million Kentucky Derby, America's most famous horse race, both the Meadowlands and Yonkers offered solid cards on Saturday night.

In one of the early races at the Big M, Goes Down Smooth (Tim Tetrick) forged a mild 3-1 upset in the $54,500 Walner Final for three-year-old colt trotters when he left to gain command in a 28.2 opener, yielded to 2-5 favorite Final Claim (Yannick Gingras) before the half in 56.3, sat a loose pocket through the far turn, inherited the lead when the chalk broke inside the eighth pole, then just outlasted the late surge of Warrior One (David Miller) for a head score in 1:54.

A sophomore son of Muscle Hill trained by Ron Burke, Goes Down Smooth recorded his second straight victory and now owns three wins and nearly $42,000 banked from four seasonal tries and boasts three wins and $62,500 banked from 13 career outings. Warrior One was second in all three preliminary rounds, once behind the winner and twice behind the beaten fave, closed willingly late for trainer Nik Drennan and should climb through his conditions at some point.

Then two races later in the $30,000 Mr Muscleman Open for trotters, Pinkman (Gingras) brushed to command before the opener, got a breather by the half in 56.1, faced token pressure from Sheez On A Cruze (Montrell Teague) through the far turn and by three-quarters in 1:24.3, then outlasted the late surge of the pocket sitting Top Flight Angel (Andy Miller) to score in 1:52.4.

A seven-year-old Explosive Matter gelding trained by Per Engbloom, Pinkman rebounded from a pair of second-place efforts in the $30,000 Preferred here to notch his first win in three starts this year A former Hambletonian hero, Pinkman now owns 20 wins and $2.76 million lifetime from 59 career outings. Top Flight Angel was a solid second in his second start for trainer Julie Miller and will be a serious player in this group with more seasoning.

Three races later in a non-winners of six races or $125,000 lifetime class for younger pacers, Blood Money (Scott Zeron) lived up to his billing as the 3-2 choice when he rallied from well off the pace and widest of all to score by two lengths in 1:50. A sophomore son of Sweet Lou trained by Nancy Johansson for Diamond Creek Racing, Blood Money prevailed in his seasonal debut and now owns a solid 6-4-3 slate and $357,000 banked from 14 career outings.

One race later in a non-winners of $12,500 last five starts class for pacers, None Bettor A (Joe Bongiorno) easily lived up to his billing as the 8-5 choice when he easily gained command in a 27.1 opener, maintained an honest tempo by the half in 55 flat, met token pressure down the backside and through the far turn, shook loose turning for home and drew off to a six-length score in 1:49 flat. The six-yer-old Bettor's Delight gelding trained by Jenn Bongiorno recorded his first win in three U.S. outings.

Several races later in the $30,000 Golden Receiver Open for pacers at one-mile and one-eighth, Highalator (Richard Still) lived up to his billing as the 8-5 favorite when he gained command in a 26.1 opener, got a breather by the half in 55.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.1 then sprinted clear of his foes in the lane to a two-length score in 2:03.4 for the nine panels. A five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere stallion trained by Jenny Bier, Highalator notched his fourth win in 12 starts this year and now owns 25 wins and over $350,000 banked from 58 career outings.

Then just prior to the midway point of the Yonkers card on Saturday night, Havefaithinme N (Jason Bartlett) easily lived up to his role as the 2-5 favorite in a non-winners of $30,000 last five starts class when he left to secure good early position, yielded briefly to Odds On Delray then immediately retook, got a breather by the half in 57.2, rebuffed a serious first over bid from Tremendous Play (Jordan Stratton) down the backside and through the far turn and edged clear late to a two-length score in 1:53.

An eight-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding trained by Jose Godinez, Havefaithinme N recorded his third straight victory and now owns five wins in nine starts and banked $64,000 this year and 22 victories from 60 career tries. Tremendous Play delivered another gritty first over effort and settled for second but stays eligible to the condition and the Richard Banca trainee should get Bartlett back in the bike next weekend.

One race later in the $44,000 Open Handicap for older pacers, Major Crocker A (Daniel Dube) overcame an extended first over bid to wear down Caviart Luca (George Brennan) down the backside and through the far turn, opened a clear lead turning for home and held safe the late bid of Micky Gee N (Stratton) to score by two lengths in 1:52.3. A nine-year-old Art Major gelding trained by Rene Allard, Major Crocker A finished second twice and third once in five Levy legs and notched his second win from nine tries on the season and lowered his lifetime mark by nearly three seconds in the process.

Then one race later in the $44,000 Open Handicap for older trotters, Eye Ofa Tiger As (Bartlett) gained command easily and remained clear of the breakers, strolled by the opener in 28.4 and half in 58.4, rebuffed a first over bid from Will Take Charge down the backside and through the far turn and held sway late to score by a length in 1:55.3. A five-year-old Chapter Seven gelding trained by Anette Lorentzon, Eye Ofa Tiger As now owns a 4-3-1 slate and $93,000 banked from 11 starts this year and sports 13 wins and a $390,000 bankroll from 33 career outings.

Two races later in a non-winners of $30,000 last five starts class for pacers, Artful Way (George Brennan) lived up to his role as the 8-5 favorite in his return from Saratoga when he left to gain command in a 26.4 opener, got a modest breather by the half in 56 flat, rolled by three-quarters unpressed in 1:23.3 then held safe the late bids of Fashion Bythebeach (Stratton) and Theartofconfusion A (Mark MacDonald) to score by nearly two lengths in 1:52.

A seven-year-old Artistic Fella gelding trained by Jackie Greene, Artful Way notched his second straight victory after taking the $15,000 Open Handicap at Saratoga last week and now owns three wins and $35,000 banked from six starts this year. Fashion Bythebeach and The Artofconfusion A both get to stay at the level next week, but Artful Way will have to find a spot in the Winners Over, Preferred or the Open next week.

Then two races later in the finale, Ozone Blue Chip (Brennan) benefited from a pocket trip behind We Think Alike (Brent Holland) through the first three calls, angled out at the head of the lane and just got up late to score by a nose in 1:54.3. A five-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding trained by Ron Coyne, Jr., Ozone Blue Chip recorded his second win in 10 starts this year and now owns 10 wins and nearly $193,000 banked from 63 career tries.
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