Day At The Track

$780,000 Kindergarten Finals at Meadowlands

01:58 PM 04 Nov 2018 NZDT
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Harness racing Reign Of Honor, harness racing Stella Jane, harness racing Escapetothebeach, harness racing
Odds On St Lucie and Michelon’s Filly finished in a dead heat for win
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Reign Of Honor and driver Dave Miller
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Stella Jane and driver Corey Callahan
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Escapetothebeach and driver Andrew McCarthy
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Corey Callahan was a major player in the two Kindergarten Classic trotting events at the Meadowlands Saturday night, an evening that saw four Kindergarten finals for 2-year-olds with total purses at more than $780,000.

'The Captain' drove 1-9 favorite Seven Hills in the $221,540 colt and gelding trot, but after beginning his career with four powerful wins, the son of Muscle Hill-Southwind Maywood went off stride in the first turn, losing all chance.

"He's still really immature," said Callahan. "Vinny (Ginsburg, driving Lucky Weekend) kind of crossed over on me and I had to grab hold of him a little bit and he made a break."

That opened the door for 7-1 second-choice Reign Of Honor to break his maiden at a most opportune time.

David Miller kept the gelded son of Father Patrick-Margarita Momma in a live cover flow, came alongside leader Divine Spirit at the top of the stretch, before powering past that foe to go on to a convincing 5¼-length score in 1:55.3. Memo was second with Reve Toujours third.

"It definitely opened the race up," said Miller of the early break by the favorite. "And around the first turn I wasn't real happy with my spot. But I got cover past the half."

Reign Of Honor, trained by Nifty Norman, returned $17.60 to his backers for owners Deo Valente Farms, Jennifer Dalton Stable and Tom Pontone.

Callahan guided an upset winner in the $236,060 filly trot, steering 17-1 shot Stella Jane to victory lane in 1:54.4.

Tim Tetrick blasted Sister's Promise away from the gate from post 10 and Callahan went with him from the eight hole. After making the lead at the quarter, Stella Jane yielded to Sister's Promise and the duo raced 1-2 around the track.

Stella Jane vacated the pocket in mid-stretch and rolled to 2¾-length score in 1:54.4. Princess Deo rallied for second with Sister's Promise holding third.

Global Pageant, the 9-5 favorite, went a tough first-over trip, wilted and finished eighth.

Stella Jane, trained by John Butenschoen, returned $36.20 for owner Crawford Farms Racing.

"She really has been good all year," said Callahan. "She's been handy, so we just shot out of there and everything worked out well. I had a lot of trot in the last turn."

It was a case of too close to call in the Kindergarten Classic for filly pacers on a card that featured four Kindergarten finals for 2-year-olds at the Meadowlands Saturday night.

Odds On St Lucie and Michelon's Filly finished in a dead heat in the $148,700 event in a mile that went in 1:52. Alkippe was a head back in third.

Brett Miller sent 6-1 shot Odds On St Lucie to the top in search of her third straight series win. She would never relinquish the top. Even-money favorite Michelon's Filly started to inch her way toward the leader after popping out of the four hole at the half. Three-quarters was reached in 1:24.2 as Michelon's Filly and Marcus Miller continued to march closer while racing uncovered.

Through the stretch, Michelon's Filly bravely continued on, and at the wire, the photo finish cameras could not separate the pair.

Odds On St Lucie, a daughter of Sweet Lou-Shes Some Treasure, paid $5.20 to win for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Odds On Racing. She's now five-for-10 lifetime and has earnings of over $100,000.

The Erv Miller-trained Michelon's Filly returned $2.60 for owners Ronald Michelon and Michael Anderson and now has six wins in 13 starts and also a bankroll that just breaks the six-figure barrier.

"I thought I was out there way too long," said Marcus Miller of Michelon's Filly. "She paid me back for taking care of her in her last few starts. She was as game as possible. They were both digging right to the wire."

Escapetothebeach went a perfect trip on the way to taking the $173,800 colts and geldings pace in 1:51.3. It was three-quarters of a length back to Mac's Power. Waterway was third while 8-5 favorite Southwind Ozzi finished last in the field of 10.

Waterway and Brett Miller fired right to the top and cut out all of the fractions as Andy McCarthy sat right behind with Escapetothebeach. In deep stretch, Waterway bore out while weakening on the lead, allowing Escapetothebeach a pathway to victory.

"He raced really good tonight," said McCarthy. "I got him to hustle out of there pretty good and I got the trip I wanted. He had a lot of pace. I was quite confident if I got out, I was the winner. I kept edging to the outside (in deep stretch) hoping I'd get room, but it wasn't coming, so I looked and it looked like it was starting to open up to the inside, so I switched him back there and he went right through."

A son of Somebeachsomewhere-Shelliscape, Escapetothebeach returned $16.00 to his backers for trainer Alagna and owners Alagna & Inthegym, J. Sbrocco, R. Leblanc and W. Donovan, and now has three wins in 12 lifetime starts and earnings of $124,728.

A LITTLE MORE: One lucky player became the second in as many nights to walk away with a $10,000 score in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10. Friday night, the winner had to go 10-for-10 but on Saturday, all it took was five out of 10 to hit big. ... Yannick Gingras drove three winners on the card while Corey Callahan, Brett Miller and David Miller had two apiece. ... All-source wagering on the 11-race program reached a meet-best $2,539,969. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.

by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

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