MANALAPAN, NJ - July 4, 2014 -- Guess Whos Back benefited from a quarter-mile duel between Stonebridge Force and Canepa Hanover to win the $40,500 second round New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Friday, July 4, 2014 in the second race at the Meadowlands.
In the $39,500 filly division, the fourth race, Mission Brief trotted a stakes record 1:55.1.
In the colts' race, Stonebridge Force  and driver would not relinquish the lead and the rail to 1-5 favorite Canepa Hanover [ ] as the two battled down the backstretch. Early in the turn for home Canepa Hanover broke stride, leaving Stonebridge Force on a clear lead until , who won both ends of the early daily double, sent Guess Whos Back sprinting in the stretch.
The son of- Shes Gone Again took the lead in the final eighth and clocked a career best 1:57 flat, last quarter in 29 seconds, winning by a length and a half over Stonebridge Force. Guess Whos Back returned $12.60 to win.
Falk On Hill , entrymate to Canepa Hanover, saved the bridge-jumpers, finishing third by eight and three-quarter lengths.
Guess Whos Back, a $90,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase, was making his second career start, having broken stride in last week's opening leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes. The Nikolas Drennan trainee picked up the winner's share of $20,250 for owners Joseph Davino of Clarksburg, NJ and Brad Shackman of Calgary, Alberta. He was bred by Diamond Creek Farm ofand Melvin Hartman of Ontario.
Mission Brief, who broke stride early in last week's first leg, was carefully timed to the starting gate by driverand had the lead from first call to the finish line.
The 3-5 favorite Saturday Mornings was second by nine and three-quarter lengths. It was 12 and a half lengths to Demons N Diamonds in third. All three top finishers are daughters of Muscles Hill.
Mission Brief clicked off fractions of 27.3, 56.2 and 125.1 before stopping the clock at 1:55.1, eclipsing the stakes record of 1:55.3 shared by Act of Grace  and Southwind Cocoa .
Thetrainee, out of the Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena, paid $7.20 to win. It was the filly's first win in two starts, earning $19,750 for the partnership of Burke Racing Stable of Fredericktown, PA; Our Horse Cents Stables of Clifton Park, NY; J&T Silva Stables of Long Beach, NY and Weaver Bruscemi of Canonsburg, PA. The $150,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase was bred by Steve Stewart of , Black Creek Farm of Indiana and Andrea Lea Racing Stables of Quebec.
A quartet of $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for two-year-olds is scheduled for Saturday, July 12, 2014, sharing the card with the finals of the Meadowlands Pace, Mistletoe Shalee,, Del Miller, William R. Haughton and Golden Girls.
The $30,000 Free For All Handicap for pacing mares featured a quintet of mares prepping for the Golden Girls next week. It was one of those five, in fact, odds-on favorite Shebestingin who scored a neck victory over a very game Mattie Terror Girl in 1:50.3. Jerseylicious established the early pace but was quickly shuffled back through a quarter of 26.4 and a half-mile in a rapid 53.2.
Mattie Terror Girl made a steady grind to the lead and turned for home with the lead through three-quarters of 1:21.1. ‘Mattie dug in, but simply could not hold off the classy Shebestingin who scored the victory for Dave Miller. Both mares look poised as major contenders in the Golden Girls on Pace night. Charisma Hanover finished a solid third.
The winner is owned by Val D’Or Farms, Theodore Gewertz and L&L Devisser LLC and is conditioned by Joe Holloway.
The following race, a C-1/B-2 Handicap saw Aunt Caroline make her 2014 debut a winning one, scoring a sharp 1:51.3 victory. Aunt Caroline is also Golden Girls eligible and figures to go postward in that event on Pace night as well.
Racing returns on Saturday with a special post time of 6:30 P.M. The Saturday program is a blockbuster, featuring two eliminations for The Meadowlands Pace, the $484,450 Hambletonian Maturity, an elimination for the Mistletoe Shalee and New Jersey Sire Stakes action. The past performances for the Saturday program can be found free at
There will also be a spectacular fireworks show following the live racing program.
by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ