After a six month hiatus in the breeding shed, world champion trotter Wishing Stone made a triumphant return to racing at the Meadowlands Friday, winning the sixth race handicapped trot in a sharp 1:52.4.
It was December 6, 2013 the last time that Wishing Stone had raced, winning the Open Handicap Trot at Yonkers Raceway and he has now picked right up where he left off with his 22nd career victory.
Trained by Ron Burke and driven to victory by Yannick Gingras, Wishing Stone left from his far outside post ten and was parked to the opening quarter mile in :27.2 by Il Mago (Scott Zeron).
From that point on, Wishing Stone would not let anyone pass him by as the led to the half mile in :57.1 and the three-quarters in 1:25.1. Mistery Woman (John Campbell) the lone mare in the field, came first-over and gave outside cover to Undercover Strike (David Miller).
As they started down the stretch, Miller came after Wishing Stone with Undercover Strike but it was too little too late as Gingras kept his trotter game to the wire, winning by one half of a length. Deweycolorintheline (Ray Schnittker) was third.
Wishing Stone surprised the field with his victory, going off at odds of 10-1 and paying $22.40 to win.
The race also featured $1 million winner last season, Spider Blue Chip, making his 2014 debut but he was no factor in the race.
Owned by the Wishing Stone Syndicate of Flemington, NJ, Wishing Stone is one of the few stallions in the USA that are breeding mares in the off-season and racing through the summer and fall. This was his first season at both breeding and racing and from his winning effort tonight it looks like his owners have made the right move.
A seven-year-old son of Conway Hall, Wishing Stone has won major stakes races during his career throughout North America and in Europe. He is a career winner of $2,242,000.
By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com