Day At The Track

First qualifiers at the Meadowlands

05:55 AM 15 Nov 2013 NZDT
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Meadowlands, harness racing
First qualifers in front of the new Meadowlands grandstand
Michael Lisa Photo
The very first races using the new racetrack configuration in front of the brand new Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment grandstand were the Thursday morning qualifiers. Eight races in total were highlighted by several stars of the season using the races as a prep for next week’s opening in the fantastic new facility.
 
The first qualifier was won by the accomplished older trotter Blacktuxwhitesocks, driven to a closing win from just off the pace over stable mate Bluff by his trainer Trond Smedshammer in 1:57-. The career winner of nearly $900,000 has been owned throughout his career by Wanda Polisseni’s Purple Haze Stable.
 
Trond came right back to win the second race with his champion trotter Arch Madness in a tightner for the upcoming TVG last leg on Opening Day, November 23 and the $500,000 Final a week later. The old boy has really found his best form lately, winning the Allerage Farms Open trot elimination at The Red Mile in a career record equaling 1:50.2 and then the final of that race a week later. He trotted along on a happy lead this morning through comfortable fractions tacking a :56 final half and 27.3 last quarter on his 1:54- win. He is the pride of owners Marc Goldberg and Barry Goldstein’s Willow Pond LLC.
 
The Kindergarten Trotting Classic final winner Southwind Spirit knocked the dust off with a 1:57.4 win, home in 28.2 for regular driver Yannick Gingras. He is one of the leading eligibles for the $430,000e Valley Victory for the Burke Stable, who owns him in partnership with Weaver & Bruscemi, LLC and Stable 45.
 
Pacers came up in race four, with a couple of nice two year old colts sharpening up for the $500,000e Governor’s Cup. Arthur Blue Chip (Dave Miller) and Somestarsomewhere (Yannick Gingras) went right to the wire together in 1:53.3. Watching the pair of talented freshmen battle rekindled memories of watching their sires, Shadow Play and Somebeachsomewhere, square off in the 2008 Messenger Stakes.
 
Miller had Arthur on the lead through conservative numbers and Yannick wrestled his mount into a four hole before moving first over around the final bend. Both were willing through the sprint home.
 
Dr. Ian Moore trains Arthur Blue Chip, owned in partnership with RG McGroup and Serge Savard. Somestreetsomewhere is conditioned by Ron Burke for his own interests with Weaver & Bruscemi, M. Yanek and L Karr.
 
Freshman pacing fillies were next, Gingras and Miller battled to the wire again with JK Molly (Gingras/Burke for 3 Brother Stable) and Delightful Dragon (Miller for Noel Daley and the Adam Victor & Son Stable) in 1:55- /28. Those two debutantes are among the top candidates for the $400,00e Three Diamonds.
 
Western Vintage and JK Endofanera paced to the wire together in 1:54.2/28- in a tight finish between two more Governors Cup eligibles. Brian Sears had JK Endofanera forwardly placed throughout for Ron Burke, who trains the Art Major colt for the 3 Brothers Stables. Western Vintage was reserved off the pace and finished strong for Gingras. Perry Soderberg now has a partner in the good Western Ideal colt in Marvin Katz. Nancy Johansson is the trainer.
 
The next qualifiers will be on Monday evening with a scheduled post time of 6:00pm, the box for those will close at 10:00am tomorrow (Friday).  A preview of the new grandstand will be made available to horsemen with the evening qualifiers of Thursday, November 23, again at 6:00pm.
 
More information is available on the Meadowlands Racing& Entertainment website.

by Nick Salvi for the Meadowlands
 

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