With the Meadowlands Pace squarely in his sights, local trainer Carl Jamieson is sending his three-year-old pacing prodigies, Santanna Blue Chip and Legacy N Diamonds, to the post in tonight’s $538,270 Art Rooney Pace final at Yonkers Raceway.
Only 11 entries showed up for last Saturday’s Rooney pair of eliminations, and one of those (Peter Kleinhans’s Atochia) was scratched by the judges, leaving a four-horse field. Favourites led wire-to-wire in both contests, one of whom was George Teague Jr. trainee,, who paced home one and three-quarters of a length ahead of Dontloseyourdayjob in 1:51.4.
The other was, who was never seriously challenged and sailed home in a relaxed 1:54.2 for Jamieson’s son Jody, three-quarters of a length to the good over Meant To Be Me.
Legacy N Diamonds, who finished last in his four-horse division some nine and a half lengths behind, nonetheless advanced to the upcoming final and drew post position #4 in the eight-horse field. With Jamieson at the controls for (for whom he is a part-owner), Legacy N Diamonds will enjoy the steering expertise of Tim Tetrick this Saturday.
Will the half-mile oval be a challenge for either colt? “has no problem with the half mile,” says Jamieson. “He’s just an average-sized horse and he gets around any size of track.
“But Legacy N Diamonds is a bigger horse, and we found he just couldn’t get around the turns on that track. It’s banked really high and he was beating his knees up. He hits his left knee anyway, and with the force of gravity on those turns it just made it worse.”
Jamieson is frank about Legacy N Diamonds’s chances at Yonkers. “We actually didn’t want to race him in the final,” he says, “but it turns out there was a $10,000 penalty if we didn’t. It’s unfortunate because we’re a stable entry, and it won’t benefit the betting.”
He is considerably more optimistic, however, about. “He has a real good chance of being in the top two,” he says. “I think is the main threat. He’ll be to our outside (in post #6 to ’s post 3).
“Jody will take Santanna to the front early, but depending on how things shape up he might letgo and try to hunt him down in the stretch.”
The Meadowlands Pace remains the plan for both colts after the Art Rooney, though Jamieson qualifies that by saying he will have to see how sound Legacy N Diamonds is after this potentially punishing race.
Here is the field for tonight’s Art Rooney Final:
1- Dragon King (David Miller)
- Legacy N Diamonds (Tim Tetrick)
* Idle Hour (Jason Bartlett)
- Meant To Be Me (John Campbell)
* Dontloseyourdayjob (Yannick Gingras).