Arch Madness steals show at Big M qualifiers

06:54 AM 20 Apr 2014 NZST
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Arch Madness, harness racing
Arch Madness, in prior win last year, was in top shape in winning his Meadowlands qualifier
Saturday morning at The Meadowlands felt like spring with sunny skies, mild temperatures and many trainers bringing their stakes hopefuls in for some speed work on the big track.
 
Tony Alagna, Jimmy Takter and Linda Toscano were among those present and Linda had her stable star Market Share on the track for a successful workout minus the trotting hopples in anticipation of a trip to Sweden for the Elitlopp.
 
Many three-year-old trotters were on the menu early but the star of the show was the aging icon Arch Madness. He settled third through the early going for Trond Smedshammer while Corky and Archangel took turns on the front before mowing them down and winning by several lengths in 1:53.3 with an individual sub 28 final quarter into a considerable breeze. The buzz among the observers was that he looks as good or better than he has in the past few seasons.
 
2013 Breeders Crown freshman filly pace winner Uffizi Hanover made her first appearance with an effortless 1:54.4 tune up out of the pocket for Dave Miller. She comes from the Jimmy Takter barn, as did the winner of the next race, the lightly raced Gettingreadytoroll.
 
That one was well within herself in 1:53.3 with Yannick Gingras along for the ride. Late to the races as a two-year-old, Gettingreadytoroll has but a single money start winning in 1:54.2 at Pocono and two good qualifying efforts at The Meadowlands at the end of last year before being put away.
 
All Bets Off looked sharp in his second go around for the Burke stable. The Matron winner was held just off the pace by Gingras and wore down the stubborn mile cutter Parnu Hanover in 1:52.4 / 28-. Believeinthespirit actually split those two for the place in a solid effort and That's My Opinion was a willing fourth.
 
Burke's Governor's Cup winner JK Endofanera looked sharp winning his qualifier in 1:52.4 with a 28 flat close for Brian Sears over a game Ideal Cowboy and Somewhere Fancy in another key prep for this group.
 
The final race of the day saw the highly regarded Odds On Equuleus return to the wars after a disappointing sophomore campaign. Tim Tetrick sent him along quickly from the start but couldn't shake See And Ski or OK Commander. Those three finished across the track in 1:52-.
 
Live racing resumes at 7:15 tonight with a carryover in excess of $30,000 on the Pick Five beginning in race one.
 
by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands
 
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