Day At The Track

Will it be a breakout year for Geez Joe

04:58 AM 21 Feb 2019 NZDT
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Geez Joe, harness racing
Geez Joe winning at the Meadowlands
Lisa Photo
After a relatively slow start to his career, and a few 'hard luck' stretches, 5-year-old pacer Geez Joe is starting to find his stride. 
 
He has established himself as a major force in the Preferred ranks at The Meadowlands, and is looking for even bigger things in 2019.
 
"He's taking a short break right now," said regular driver Marcus Miller. "We're hoping he can take a swing at some of the open stakes this year." His last race was a grinding first over win at The Meadowlands on January 19th.
 
The gelded son of Roll with Joe - Beach Bretta made his career debut on July 8th, 2016 in a New York Excelsior Event at Saratoga, finishing a disappointing 8th vs. a then budding John Butenschoen superstar Funknwaffles, who went on to win as the heavy favorite. He ended his freshman campaign on a better note, hitting the board in two of his last three.
 
Armed with a new trainer and a bit more maturity, Geez Joe broke his maiden in his very first start as a sophomore, winning an overnight event at Harrah's Philly in 1:55. After a few more confidence building wins against overnight company, Geez Joe enjoyed his first stakes win of his career - a New York Excelsior triumph on June 18th at Vernon in 1:51.2.
 
He went on to win the Excelsior Final on October 18th at Vernon - overcoming a troubled start and post position eight to take down the lion's share of the $45,000 purse.
 
He followed that with a grinding third place finish against top sophomore pacer Filibuster Hanover in the Pegasus at Hoosier Park. He completed his 3-year-old season proving he belonged with the top pacers in his age group, with a third in the Hap Hanson Progress Pace elimination, and a fifth in the final against Downbytheseaside and Fear The Dragon.
 
After it was all said and done, Geez Joe completed the seasonal campaign with eight wins out of twenty-three starts, and earnings just under $145,000.
 
His 4-year-old campaign saw him notch another speed mark (1:48.1), as well as duplicate his eight win season from the year prior.
 
Driver Marcus Miller describes Geez Joe as big and strong. "He's funny. When you first step on the track, you'd think he's going to be grabby but he's really laid back," Miller said.
 
Miller feels we have yet to see the best Geez Joe has to offer. "He gave us hints all along," Miller explained. "Some big miles at age three - At four, a couple of wins from impossible spots at Batavia and Pocono. Then obviously, he caught everyone's eye in December at The Meadowlands."
 
Geez Joe was bred by Winbak Farms in Chesapeake City, MD. Winbak is currently second this season in the standings in both winners (117) and earnings ($1,506,227).
 
by Mike Bozich, for Post Time with Mike and Mike
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