Homeracing

Meadowlands hosts superb Saturday card

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

July 15th, 2018

For many harness racing enthusiasts Saturday night's card at the Meadowlands was reminiscent of day of old as the track once dubbed the mecca of the sport hosted a stellar card that featured its signature event as well as numerous other stakes that included many of the best horses of both gaits the sport has to offer.

In the opening race on the card, the first $30,000 Miss Versatility split for trotting fillies and mares, Broadway Donna (David Miller) brushed to command before the half in 55.3, raced unpressed through the far turn and by three-quarters in 1:24 then edged clear from 1-2 favorite Emoticon Hanover (Daniel Dube) and outlasted the late inside bid of runner-up Caprice Hill (Doug McNair) to score by two lengths in 1:51.1.

A five-year-old Donato Hanover mare trained by Jim Campbell for owner Fashion Farms, Broadway Donna recorded her third win in five starts this year and notched her 20th victory in 36 career tries and pushed her earnings past $1.3 million. Caprice Hill, one of the three millionaires in the field, rallied inside to gain the place spot while Emoticon Hanover faded to third and had nothing to offer in the lane as the odds-on choice. NF Happenstance (Jack Parker, Jr.) finished fourth in a decent effort.

Then one race later in the second $30,000 Miss Versatility split, Hannelore Hanover (Yannick Gingras) lived up to her role as the 1-9 favorite when she gained command before a 27.1 opener, got a breather by the half in 55.4, met token pressure from Celebrity Ruth (David Miller) through the far turn, shook loose at the head of the lane and held safe 60-1 outsider Ice Attraction (Ake Svandstedt) to prevail by just over a length in 1:50.2.

A six-year-old Swan For All mare trained by Ron Burke, Hannelore Hanover is the reigning harness horse of the year and the current top rated horse of either gait or gender in the Hambletonian Society Top 10 poll. She has won all six of her starts this year and now owns 42 wins and $2.7 million from 64 career outings. She will undoubtedly maintain her spot atop the poll and is already among the future book faves for harness horse of the year again.

Then one race later in the first $128,500 Del Miller Memorial for three-year-old filly trotters looking to tune up for the Grade I, $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks in three weeks, Phaetosive (Trond Smedshammer) easily lived up to her role as the 4-5 favorite when she overcame a brief first over journey and sprinted clear in the lane to a three-length score in 1:51.3. A sophomore daughter of Explosive Matter, Phaetosive has won twice in three starts this year and owns six wins and $350,000 banked from 10 career tries. She has three weeks to get ready for another engagement with Manchego in the Hambo Oaks.

Then one race later on the card, Wolfgang (Yannick Gingras) easily lived up to his role as the 4-5 favorite in the first $180,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial for three-year-old trotting colts when he brushed to command before the half in 55.4, shook loose from token pressure through the far turn and drew clear from Classichap to score by five lengths in 1:51.2. A sophomore son of My MVP trained by Jimmy Takter, Wolfgang remained perfect in three starts this year and assumed the role of future book favorite for the Grade I, $1.5 million Hambletonian here next month.

Then one race later in the $190,000 Mistletoe Shalee for three-year-old filly pacers, Kissin In The Sand (Scott Zeron) easily lived up to her role as the 3-5 favorite when she gained command from post five before the opener in 26.3, rolled by the midway mark in 55.1 and three-quarters in 1;24 and drew clear from Youaremycandygirl (Gingras) to score in 2:04.1 for the one-mile and one-eighth. A sophomore daughter of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Nancy Johansson, Kissin In The Sand recorded her fourth win in six starts this year and now own 11 wins and nearly $600,000 banked from 20 lifetime tries.

Both Alexas Power and Wisdom Tree raced well to finish third and fourth while starting from the second tier. Alexas Power was stalled by dull cover on the far turn and Wisdom Tree simply had excess cover and flew late to finish fourth. Both will be formidable when they draw on gate in subsequent stakes. Maryland-bred Wisdom Tree had won three straight prior to her fourth place effort on Saturday night and still owns seven wins in 10 starts this year.

Then one race later in the second $180,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial split for three-year-old colt trotters, Six Pack (Ake Svandstedt) lived up to his role as the 3-5 favorite when he tucked third from post eight, angled out first over nearing the half, wore down Alarm Detector by three-quarters in 1:22.3 then held safe You Know You Do (Gingras) to score by three lengths in 1:50 flat to establish a new stakes and track record. A sophomore son of Muscle Mass owned and trained by Svandstedt, Six Pack rebounded from a narrow setback in the Beal final to notch his fifth win in six starts this year and vault past Wolfgang as the future book fave for the Hambo.

Then one race later in the $405,000 Hambletonian Maturity for four-year-old trotters, Ariana G (Gingras) overcame post nine courtesy of a 25.3 opener, maintained an honest tempo by the half in 54.3 and three-quarters in 1:23.1 then edged clear from her male rivals to score in 2:05 for the one-mile and one-eighth. A four-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill trained by Takter, Ariana G recorded her third win in five starts this year and now owns 24 wins and $2.2 million banked from 31 career outings and may want to seek Hannelore Hanover at some point this summer and fall.

Then one race later in the main event, the $700,000 Meadowlands Pace final for three-year-old colt pacers, Courtly Choice (David Miller) lived up to his role as the 6-5 favorite when he rallied second over down the backside and fanned wide for the drive and outkicked Dorsoduro Hanover and Stay Hungry to score by two lengths in 1:47.1. A Maryland-bred son of Art Major trained by Blake Macintosh, Courtly Choice notched his sixth win in eight starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings toward $500,000 while giving Miller his first Meadowlands Pace score.

Then one race later in the $190,000 Golden Girls for free-for-all pacing mares, Divas Image (Joe Bongiorno) rallied from well off the pace to forge a 31-1 shocker as 1-5 favorite Shartin N (Tetrick) wilted in the final 100 yards. A six-year-old Bettor's Delight mare owned and trained by Jen Bongiorno, Divas Image notched her second straight score and posted her seventh win in 16 starts this year while handing Shartin N just her fourth setback in 15 seasonal outings.

Then one race later in the $470,000 Haughton Memorial, McWicked (Brian Sears) lived up to his role as the 3-5 favorite when he angled out second over behind Check Six, fanned wide for the drive and outkicked Filibuster Hanover (Gingras) to score in 2:02.2 for the one-mile and one-eighth. A seven-year-old McArdle stallion trained by Casie Coleman, McWicked notched his third straight score and now owns four wins in six starts this year and clearly holds the distinction as the best older pacer in training.

That save evening at Yonkers Raceway in New York, Hickfromfrenchlick (Mark MacDonald) was well off the gate at the outset, raced third past the half, angled out second over down the backside and swept to command three-wide on the far turn and drew clear in the lane to a three-length score in the $100,000 Lawrence B. Shepard final for two-year-old pacing colts. A juvenile son of So Surreal trained by Ray Schnittker, Hickfromfrenchlick remained perfect in two starts by prevailing in 1:55.4 as the 8-5 second choice.

 

 
Loading...