A harness racing pair of Meadowlands Pace contenders earned strong confidence builders Saturday night.
First up was Beat The Drum, who showed early speed, caught a bit of a shuffle, moved first over as the 2-1 second choice and just kept on coming to win a non-winners of four event in 1:50.1. Beat The Drum will likely make his next start in a Meadowlands Pace elimination for Bender Sweden Inc and trainer. guided the son of to his new lifetime mark.
Not to be out-done was thecolt Let's Drink On It, who faced seven older rivals in the sixth race B-2 event for $18,000. Moving to the half mile pole, the 4-5 betting choice made the lead through a sharp 54.2 half mile, then paced a 54.1 back half mile to win by over four lengths over the veteran Silent Swing in an extremely sharp, and lifetime best 1:48.3. Currently eighth on The Road to The Meadowlands Pace, Let's Drink On It is owned by Seekman, Bond, Hewitt and Boido Jr, trained by and was driven to victory by his regular pilot, , who had a career night, winning five races on the program.
It's safe to say that Odds On Equuleus has left his 0 for 15 three year old campaign behind him. Tonight at The Meadowlands, he flashed the turn of foot that caught everyone's attention as a two year old, winning tonight's $30,000 Free-For-All Hanidcap in a lifetime best, 1:48.2.
Leaving from post position three and sent off as the 2-1 second choice,gathered Odds On Equuleus back towards the rear of the field, settling in next to last through an opening quarter of 26.2 and a rapid half-mile of 53.3, established by Aracache Hanover.
He awaited the move of Wake Up Peter, who in turn flushed out Dovuto Hanover, positioning Odds On Equuleus third over through three-quarters of 1:21.3
Turning for home it appeared to be anyone's race, with Aracache Hanover grimly holding onto the lead, Dovuto Hanover grinding away first over and Wake Up Peter gathering momentum off cover. But then, seemingly in an instant, Odds On Equuleus appeared widest of all in deep stretch and accelerated dramatically to win going away, pacing the final quarter mile in 26 seconds flat. Wake Up Peter was a very solid second and Dovuto Hanover a game third.
The winner is owned by Odds On Racing and trained by.
For the second consecutive night, live handle at The Meadowlands showed slight gains over the previous year, gathering momentum into the strongest month of the meet.
Next weekend begins the Championship stretch at The Meadowlands. Friday night features New Jersey Sire Stakes for the two year old trotters, while Saturday night carries the freshmen pacers as well as eliminations for The Meadowlands Pace, Mistletoe Shalee and William Haughton Memorial. Also on the card is the $450,000 est. Hambletonian Maturity for four year old trotters at one mile and one eighth, with a field that could hold up to 16 entrants. The intriguing matchup in that event is that of 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life pitted against the 2013 Hambletonian Oaks Winner (and Horse of the Year), Bee A Magician. Please note that while the Friday July 4th program will begin at 7:15 P.M., Saturday July 5th will carry a special 6:30 P.M. post time, with fireworks to follow the live racing program. For more information, go to playmeadowlands.com.
by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands