Day At The Track

Drop The Ball tough as nails in Lady Liberty

01:12 PM 27 Jul 2014 NZST
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Drop The Ball, harness racing
Drop The Ball and driver Corey Callahan
Lisa Photo


Driver Corey Callahan and Drop The Ball showed racing fans and a field of world class older pacing mares how to win a race. They did it for a purse of $40,000 Saturday at the Meadowlands in winning the Lady Liberty elimination race.

Leaving from post six, Callahan hustled Drop The Ball out from behind the starting gate and they zoomed to the early lead. But Shelliscape and driver John Campbell also had their eyes on the lead and nearly got it by the opening quarter mile in :27.1. They actually got a half-length lead over Drop The Ball but could not clear to the front as Callahan stuffed them into the two-hole.

Then after the half mile marker in :54.4 it was Shebestingin and driver David Miller coming first-over and just as it looked as if they would clear to the lead, Callahan and Drop The Ball dug in left them parked out to dry past the three-quarters in 1:22.3.

Not only was Drop The Ball used twice already in the mile, as they started down the stretch she had a one length lead and had to go to the well one more time to hold off a late charging Jerseylicious (Brett Miller) to win by a half-length in 1:49.1. Charisma Hanover (Yannick Gingras) was third.

It was the third win this year for Drop The Ball. The six-year-old mare by Western Terror is trained by Ross Croghan for the Let It Ride Stables, the Mentally Stable and D. Parham, all of south Florida. She paid $11.60 to win.

There were ten starters in the race to eliminate just one from next week’s final. Rocklamation received a bye and not making it to the final is the three-time older pacing mare of the year, Anndrovette, who has really tailed off in her last two starts for trainer P J Fraley.

Shake It Cerry easy winner in Hambo Oaks Prep

Shake It Cerry and driver Ron Pierce seemed to be playing catch me if you can with driver Brian Sears and Designed To Be, winning the game and the $35,000 Hambletonian Oaks Prep trot for three-year-olds fillies Saturday at the Meadowlands.

Leaving from post two to take the early lead, Pierce had Shake It Cerry on front to the opening quarter mile in :28 and just as it seemed they were backing it down, Sears popped out of the two-hole to go after the lead, but Pierce saw it coming, asked Shake It Cerry and she trotted away just enough to force Sears and Designed To Be to drop back into the two-hole spot.

Past the half mile in a leisurely :58.1, Shake It Cerry held the field at bay as Howard Parker came first-over with Nitro Nittany and following their outside flow was Lifetime Pursuit (Yannick Gringas) to the three-quarters in 1:27.2.

Then down the stretch it was all Shake It Cerry and Pierce has they wisely had kept Sears and Designed To Be trapped in the two-hole so they could get no momentum until it was too late as Shake It Cerry went on to win by one length in 1:54.4. Designed To Be was second with Lifetime Pursuit third.

Shake It Cerry is clearly the horse to beat next Saturday in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks. The daughter of Donato Hanover posted her third straight win and sixth victory in seven starts this year for trainer Jimmy Takter. She is owned by the Solveig’s Racing Partners of East Windor, NJ and paid a generous $6.80 to win.

By Steve Wolf, for

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