Day At The Track

Singer Series kicks off at The Meadowlands

06:54 PM 06 Feb 2015 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Antigua Hanover
Antigua Hanover was driven to victory by Andy Miller for trainer Amber Buter
Lisa Photo

The Super Bowl re-match took center stage in the first round of the harness racing Charles Singer Memorial Trotting Series Thursday night at The Meadowlands, a night that saw temperatures fall into the single digits, with a windchill approaching zero. It featured Super Bowl Champion JL Cruze and the runner-up, Opulent Yankee.

Sent off as the 1/2 choice, JL Cruze got away fourth early, while his rival, Opulent Yankee went straight to the lead, establishing and opening quarter of 28.3. Sensing a softening pace up front, John Campbell sent JL Cruze to the lead down the backstretch, where he took over through a 58-second half. Candy Stash, who left for position was moved to challenge JL Cruze fist over through three-quarters of 1:26.3, while Opulent Yankee loomed in the pocket as the field turned for home. In the stretch, JL Cruze maintained his advantage over Opulent Yankee, who began to pick it up nearing the wire, but fell one length short of his rival. The victory marked the third time in four starts that JL Cruze defeated Opulent Yankee. It was also one of three consecutive wins to start the program for John Campbell. Candy Stash checked in third.

JL Cruze is trained by Eric Ell for owners Kenneth Wood, William Dittmar Jr. and Stepehn Iaquinta.

The second division was more wide-open on paper and it played out that way as three horses were sent off at 5/2, with Propulsion being a slight favorite by a few hundred dollars.

Surprisingly, it was 79-1 longshot Lady Windsor who established the early lead from her outside post, getting to the first quarter in 28.1. She relinquished that lead to the oncoming Propulsion early on the backstretch, who quickly felt a stiff challenge in the form of a blitz from Donnie Darko who cleared the lead just past the half-mile in 56.4. Donnie Darko quickly felt pressure from Walk The Walk who began the first over grind around the far turn, with longshot Detroit Rapper right on his back. In the meantime, Two Hip Dip was starting to rev his engine from the back of the pack. As the field went past three-quarters in 1:25.4, Walk The Walk took the lead as Donnie Darko faltered. Detroit Rapper was a fresh threat with Two Hip Dip charging and Propulsion in behind horses. Nearing the finish, it appeared that Two Hip Dip was going to trot by them all, but he went off-stride in the final sixteenth of a mile, and Walk The Walk hit the wire first for Dave Miller. Detroit Rapper out-performed pari-mutuel expectations to be second with Propulsion and even third. Two Hip Dip was disqualified from fourth and placed fifth behind Lady Windsor for a violation of the breaking rule.

Walk The Walk is trained by Chris Ryder, who co-owns the trotter with Sidney Korn, Robert Mondillo and Max Wernick.

The $25,000 Dash For The "C" Notes Final for the mare pacers was also contested Thursday night at The Meadowlands.

The race featured plenty of early action, with Antigua Hanover heading to the lead before releasing Caviart Shelly through a quarter of 28-seconds. SGT Molly Pitcher promptly engaged the leader, but could not advance past the leaders wheel through a 56-second half mile. Meanwhile, Marty Party, the 7/5 favorite was struggling to catch the cover of SGT Molly Pitcher as the leaders separated themselves from the field through three-quarters of 1:24.1. Caviart Shelly turned for home with the lead, with a pocket-sitting Antigua Hanover in pursuit second. That mare dove to the pylons and took over in mid-stretch and faced a challenge from longshot Stormunn who followed Antigua Hanover around the track, but Antigua Hanover held on to win in 1:54. Stormunn was the runner-up with Caviart Shelly holding on to be third.

Antigua Hanover was driven to victory by Andy Miller for trainer Amber Buter and owners Oldford Farms LLC and Tyler Buter.

There will be a pair of Jackpot Super Hi-5 carryovers into the Friday card at The Meadowlands. The fifth race carryover is $9880.26, while the last race carryover grew to $87,669.49. Post time for the Friday card is 7:15 P.M. It features round one of the Worldly Beauty series for pacing mares and the $25,000 Final for the trotters as they Dash For The "C" Notes.

Darin Zoccali
Director of Racing Operations
New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: