Day At The Track

Back Of The Neck super in Dancer Memorial

12:27 PM 19 Jul 2020 NZST
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Back Of The Neck, harness racing Ready For Moni, harness racing
Back Of The Neck and driver Scott Zeron
Lisa Photo
Ready For Moni and driver Yannick Gingras
Lisa Photo
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Judy Taylor has sometimes given her son, Howard, a tough time about the harness racing horses they have owned together. That appears to be about to change.
 
The Taylors and breeder Stefan Balazsi's Order By Stable own Hambletonian hopeful Back Of The Neck, who won Saturday's (July 18) $142,250 first division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters in 1:52 at The Meadowlands.
 
Howard Taylor, a Philadelphia attorney, is among the owners of 2018 Hambletonian winner Atlanta, as well as a number of other prominent horses.
 
"(My mom says,) 'You have all these good horses. I've never had one,'" Howard Taylor said. "I said, 'Every time I buy a horse for you, I own part of it too, I'm not trying to give you a bad horse. But it just never worked out that way. Now it has.'"
 
Driven by Scott Zeron, Back Of The Neck used a second-over trip to rally in the stretch for his second win in three races this year. Back Of The Neck, trained by Ãke Svanstedt, saw stablemate Third Shift hold the lead after the first quarter before Amigo Volo took control at the half.
 
After Zeron moved with Back Of The Neck from fourth, Svanstedt came first-over with Third Shift heading around the final turn. Back Of The Neck, the 4-5 favorite, won by 2-1/4 lengths over Third Shift, with Big Oil finishing third.
 
 
 
"He was really handy today, really relaxed, which is good," Zeron said. "He's progressively getting smarter and smarter on the track. Every start is just leading up to the Hambletonian in my eyes, so today it was like leave, let him sit, see how he feels in the hole. I was able to sit in longer than I thought I could because of the pace.
 
"When I moved him over, and Ãke pulled the two-hole, it was even better. Down the lane, he just finished strong. He was very well within himself."
 
A son of French trotting star Ready Cash out of Big Barb, Back Of The Neck has won five of 12 starts lifetime, good for $207,375.
 
Another son of Ready Cash won the second division of the Dancer. Ready For Moni was fifth at the half-mile point before following Chesnut Hill's cover around the final turn and using a three-wide move in the stretch to win in 1:51.4 as the 5-2 second choice in his seasonal debut.
 
Hollywood Story was second and Beads finished third. The winning margin was one length.
 
 
 
"I couldn't have scripted it any better," winning driver Yannick Gingras said. "It's his first start of the year and I wanted to somewhat take it easy on him. It couldn't have worked out any better. He's great. I think he's ready for it. He's going to get next week off, I'm pretty sure, and he's ready for the [Hambletonian]."
 
Ready For Moni, trained by Nancy Takter, is owned by John Fielding, Lindy Farms of Connecticut, Herb Liverman, and Bud Hatfield. He is out of Nothing But Moni, whose dam was the two-time Horse of the Year Moni Maker. He has won five of nine career races and $352,575. His top triumph last year came in the Kentucky Sire Stakes final, and he was second in the Valley Victory.
 
The Hambletonian Stakes, the sport's top event for 3-year-old trotters, is Aug. 8 at The Meadowlands. Eliminations will be held Aug. 1.
 
by Ken Weingartner, & Derick Giwner, for The Meadowlands
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