Day At The Track

Sliding Home aims to score in Valley Victory

10:16 AM 13 Nov 2015 NZDT
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Sliding Home, harness racing
Sliding Home and driver David Miller
Mark Hall photo

Trainer Jonas Czernyson hopes Sliding Home can score in the season's final major open stakes event for 2-year-old male trotters, the Valley Victory at Meadowlands Racetrack.

Two eliminations for the Valley Victory will be held Saturday at the Big M. Sliding Home, who finished third in the Breeders Crown on Oct. 24, is 10-1 on the morning line in the first elimination. David Miller will drive Sliding Home, who will start from post three in the nine-horse field.

Breeders Crown runner-up Marion Marauder is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the first elimination. He will start from post seven with Scott Zeron driving for trainer Paula Wellwood.

Matron Stakes winner Dog Gone Lucky, from the stable of Chuck Sylvester, is the 8-5 morning line choice in the second Valley Victory elimination.

The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the Nov. 21 final at the Meadowlands.

Sliding Home has won two of 11 races this year and earned $223,620 for owner Consus Racing Stable. His most recent four races include his third-place finish in the Breeders Crown, a second-place finish in a division of the International Stallion Stakes, and a second-place effort in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship.

His earnings rank ninth among all 2-year-old male trotters in North America.

"I think he's been having a pretty good year," Czernyson said. "He's very good to work with. He's smart, good to be around, good to drive. He's just an overall very smart little horse. He's gotten better as the year has gone on, so I'm hoping it's going to continue."

Sliding Home, purchased for $65,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, is a son of Donato Hanover out of the mare Bar Slide. Donato Hanover won the 2007 Hambletonian and Bar Slide captured the 2010 Hambletonian Oaks. Sliding Home is Bar Slide's second foal. Her first, multiple-stakes-winner Bright Baby Blues, is a daughter of Andover Hall. Bar Slide's third foal, a colt by Cantab Hall named Brand New Key, sold for $210,000 in October at the Lexington Selected Sale.

After debuting with a win in a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars, Sliding Home followed with a victory in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. He hit the board only once in his next five races, going off stride twice, but has rebounded with strong performances in three of his most recent starts.

"We had a few spots where we ran into a couple of little issues and he was making breaks for kind of no reason," Czernyson said. "Hopefully all of that is behind us and we should be ready to roll. He raced pretty good up in Canada (in the Breeders Crown) so I was pretty pleased with that.

"He loves what he does and you can do pretty much whatever you choose with him. He's very good that way."

Saturday's card at the Meadowlands also includes two eliminations for the Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers plus the final TVG Free For All Championship Series preliminaries for older male trotters and older male pacers. The TVG Free For All Championship Series concludes Nov. 21, which also is the same night as the Governor's Cup final.

Breeders Crown winner Boston Red Rocks, from the stable of trainer Steve Elliott, is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the first Governor's Cup elimination. Bob McIntosh's New Talent is the 2-1 pick in the second.

Resolve, trained by Ake Svanstedt, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the TVG event for male trotters and JK Endofanera, trained by Jimmy Takter, is the 6-5 choice in the event for male pacers.

On Friday night, the Meadowlands hosts a single elimination for the Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old female trotters plus the final TVG Free For All Championship Series preliminaries for older female trotters and older female pacers.

Breeders Crown champion All The Time, from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, is the 9-5 morning line favorite in the Goldsmith Maid elimination, where the top nine finishers will join Kathy Parker in the final. The connections of Kathy Parker, also trained by Takter, accepted a bye to the final.

Bee A Magician, trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman, is the 4-5 morning line favorite in the TVG event for female trotters and Jeff Bamond Jr.'s Venus Delight is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the TVG event for female pacers.

The finals for the TVG for female trotters and pacers plus the Goldsmith Maid and Three Diamonds for 2-year-old female pacers (which did not require eliminations) are Nov. 20 at the Meadowlands.

First-race post time is 7 p.m. at the Meadowlands.

by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

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