Saturday morning qualifiers at The Meadowlands were conducted over a track that was dry but dulled by overnight rain with spring-like temperatures and a steady 10-15 mph breeze from the west (against the wind in the homestretch).
The first race for 3YO filly trotters and Lifetime Pursuit led virtually all the way to win in 1:58.4 / 28.4 for. She is one of fourteen programmed to qualify this morning from the stable. Brittany Farms bred and owns the filly who made $270k and took a record of 1:52.3 as quietly as could be facing the deepest group of trotting fillies in memory last season.
The queen of that crop, Shake It Cerry was up next and she held off a challenge on both sides to win in 1:58 /29 for. Takter conditions her for Solveig's Racing Partners. Highest Peak and Scream And Shout threaten the winner in solid efforts.
Takter swept the early pick three (which would have paid around $8) with Trixton, and he was really powerful today for Jimmy. Martiniwithmuscle left from post ten and set fractions through the 1:29.2 three panels when Takter edged Trixon from the pocket and rolled on by under no urging in 1:57.2. The highest priced trotting yearling of 2012 at $360,000 was a striking but at times immature looking baby last season that has clearly grown into a man. Nuncio, also now a Takter trainee, was quite settled in his soph debut sitting comfortably in third forand offering a mild close.
The fifth race for 3yo colt trotters looked like a Hambo elimination. Father Patrick made his debut here for Takter and caught a loaded field with the headstrong Odds On Amethyst draggingthrough hot numbers of 27.4, 56, and 1:24.3 with Father Patrick guided into an early tuck third by Gingras. Odds On Amethyst was well clear into the stretch and held for the 1:54.1 win though visibly tiring in a solid effort. Father Patrick was shown racetrack only in the last eighth, closing willingly to be second in a purposeful mile. stake winner Muscle Network made his first appearance, was taken back with willing trot late in what amounted to a charted workout.
Older trotters took the track next and Corky was another winner from the Takter barn. Jimmy drove the four-year-old in his third qualifier and sat the pocket behind Fico, tipped as they straightened up and went by under his own power. D'Orsay sat in comfortably throughout and gained late for second. Swedish champion Sebastian K, a stunning individual on the track, followed along and had trot in the stretch under no urging from Swedish trainerwho was making his first appearance at The Meadowlands this morning.
After a warm up break in the action, one of the day's marquee match ups, a battle of the sexes pitting Market Share against Maven came around. On this day Maven struck a blow for equality with a 1:54- win over her male rival. Yannick sent her right to the top and sailed along through the 1:25.2 three panels with Market Share on his back. Tetrick never tipped Market Share, had a clear shot up the inside but did not gain while maintaining a comfortable hold with Maven under confident handling and well within herself.
by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands