Harness racing qualifiers on Friday morning featured the return of 2013 Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous. Overcast skies threatened rain with temperatures around 70 and the races began with a stiff east wind (at their back for the final quarter) blowing.
The Captain, looking calm and poised, set slow numbers for Tetrick going 28.2, 57.3 and 1:25.2 then tacked a 26.1 sprint on the end in his seasonal debut to finish the 1:51.3 mile. He was tracked throughout by 2013 Adios winner Sunfire Blue Chip, holding that one at bay by a length. Both colts were very willing and finished with good energy. We’ll likely see both in the morning another time or two with Team Treacherous stating that the June 13 Meadowlands Maturity Pace will be his first money start of 2014.
Cooler Schooner started the day with another impressive mile, pretty kind through the early going for John Campbell with moderate fractions then kicking home in a wind-aided 27.3 to close the 1:55.3 circuit. Love Talk followed her around and was a comfortable second.
Uva Hanover scooted home in 27 flat for Tim Tetrick in his 1:56.4 win in race two. He was a presence in the PASS program at two and made the final of that series before being shut down in September. Dejatiero was a good second in his second career try for Smedshammer. He was unraced at two.
Speak The Truth looked sharp again with a win from just off the lead, finishing strong in 27 (the wind has increased as the races continue) on the end of a 1:56.4 mile. He’s headed for next week’s second leg of the NJSS.
Hillustrious stayed flat today and Yannick Gingras let the speedy Muscle Hill half to Snow White roll. He opened a long lead passing the half in 57 flat then shortened stride late winning in 1:56.1 / 29.2. Hallanet had some trot finishing for Smeds and Muscle Midas went very well in his first try of the season closing to be third for Marcus Johansson.
A few good older trotters came along in race five and they flew home in 26.3 on the end of a 1:56- mile. Team Six got up on the wire for Marcus Miller to nail Swan In A Million on the wire.
Lightning Storm went well on the lead for Corey Callahan winning easily in 1:55.2 / 27.2 with Helios second and Caveat Emptor closing for third with good energy.
The pacers began with race seven where Winds Of Change stormed home to get the nod of four across the wire for Tetrick in the eighth with a 26.2 end to a 1:52.4 mile. Unlocked, Bondi Hanover and Lyonssomewhere were there with him and all four were flying.
More three year old pacers came forth in the ninth with Capital Account leading all the way in 1:51 / 26.2 for Gingras, winning easily. Bakersfield was a strong second and Ideal Fashion came first over and held for third in a brave effort.
Androvette and Shelliscape squared off in the last of the day’s races with Shelliscape setting slow numbers and Androvette stalking from the pocket until the stretch run where Tetrick edged the great mare to the outside and went by in a 26.2 final quarter, the mile in 1:53.
For full results of today's qualifiers click on this link.
There’s plenty going on at The Meadowlands this weekend beginning with tonight’s live card beginning at 7:15 featuring the first leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes trots.
On Saturday we begin with the simulcast of the Preakness, host the Lisa Photo Stride For The Cure 5k run and night at the races, the Rosevelt Raceway Legacy Night features personalities from that great track and NJSS pacers.
The evening’s pièce de résistance is the $175,000 final of the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial trot which is the first marquee event of the Championship Meet pitting American champ Market Share against international invader Sebastian K among a top field of very accomplished trotters.
by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands