Day At The Track

Dan Patch award winner headlines Invitational

05:38 PM 18 Mar 2010 NZDT
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Lucky Jim in typically explosive action
Lucky Jim in typically explosive action

Lucky Jim, last season's Dan Patch Award winner as harness racing's best older male trotter, will make his official debut Friday night (March 19) in the Invitational at Meadowlands Racetrack.

Six foes will challenge Lucky Jim, who will start from post seven with regular driver Andy Miller at the lines. Lucky Jim, who is trained by Miller's wife, Julie, was made the 6-5 favorite in the morning line.

Lucky Jim enters the race off two qualifier wins earlier this month. Last year, he won 17 of 18 races and earned $1.06 million in purses. His victories included the Breeders Crown and a world-record-equaling mile in the Nat Ray.

"We're champing at the bit," said David Prushnok, who owns Lucky Jim with his brother, John, and Bill Gregg. "Julie and Andy did a great job bringing him back and his qualifiers speak for themselves. With any luck we're on the right track and will have a good debut.

"There are always nerves going into a horse race," he added. "But he's the kind of horse a person is probably not supposed to worry about."

Friday's $32,000 Invitational field also includes, in post position order: Sunland Dakota, Y F Little Guy, In Focus, John Paul's Legacy, Green Day, and Likeabatoutahell.

Likeabatoutahell, driven by Brian Sears for trainer Trond Smedshammer, has won three of five in the Invitational ranks this season. He is coming off a 1:54.3 victory two weeks ago and is tied with Chosen Voyageur for this year's fastest time so far, 1:53.3. Likeabatoutahell was made the 3-1 second choice.

Two of Lucky Jim's likely future rivals, Arch Madness and Enough Talk, were in action today in qualifiers at the Meadowlands. Arch Madness won by 1-1/2 lengths over Enough Talk in 1:55. Both Arch Madness and Enough Talk covered the final quarter-mile in :27.2 seconds.

Arch Madness was driven by his trainer, Smedshammer. Arch Madness won four of 15 races last year and earned $559,294. Now 6, he has banked $2.2 million in his career.

Enough Talk, a 7-year-old, was driven by his trainer, Peter Kleinhans. In 2008, Enough Talk won nine times and earned $851,865 and became the first trotter to break the 1:50 barrier, with a 1:49.3 victory at Colonial Downs. Last year, he was limited to nine starts, winning once.

by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Courtesy of the US Trotting Association Web Newsroom

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