Jamieson has double entry in Art Rooney

07:47 PM 05 Jul 2008 NZST
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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, Badlands Nitro, who paced home one and three-quarters of a length ahead of Dontloseyourdayjob in 1:51.4.

The other was Santanna Blue Chip, 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 Badlands Nitro, nonetheless advanced to the upcoming final and drew post position #4 in the eight-horse field. With Jamieson at the controls for Santanna Blue Chip (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? “Santanna Blue Chip 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 Santanna Blue Chip. “He has a real good chance of being in the top two,” he says. “I think Badlands Nitro is the main threat. He’ll be to our outside (in post #6 to Santanna Blue Chip’s post 3).

“Jody will take Santanna to the front early, but depending on how things shape up he might let Badlands Nitro go 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)

- Moon Beam (Eric Abbatiello)

* Santanna Blue Chip (Jody Jamieson)

- Legacy N Diamonds (Tim Tetrick)

* Idle Hour (Jason Bartlett)

* Badlands Nitro (Brian Sears)

- Meant To Be Me (John Campbell)

* Dontloseyourdayjob (Yannick Gingras).

Karen Briggs

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