Day At The Track

Last to first for Sweet Lucy Lou

01:27 PM 13 Mar 2021 NZDT
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Sweet Lucy Lou, harness racing
Sweet Lucy Lou in prior win
Chris Gooden photo

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - It's hard to imagine anyone feeling confident about Sweet Lucy Lou's chances down the backstretch in the Friday night harness racing feature at The Meadowlands, a high-end conditioned pace for fillies and mares.

After all, the 5-year-old by Sweet Lou-Ultimate Bet, was sent to the gate as a 17-1 outsider and was sitting 10th and last as the field went past the half-mile marker with apparently no chance.

But then things picked up for her connections, not to mention her backers.

Driver Todd McCarthy put Sweet Lucy Lou into a fourth-over flow, a train that was led by a resilient Betalady, who went parked the mile while in search of a third straight win at The Big M.

At three-quarters - which was timed in 1:22.2 - Dover Downs shipper Going Gone Hanover was calling the shots with 5-2 favorite Wingding Hanover in the pocket and Betalady still grinding away on the rim in third.

"I thought she had a shot," said winning trainer Bob Cleary of Sweet Lucy Lou. "I thought a lot of them wouldn't like the wind in their faces in the stretch."

Cleary was spot on, as his prized pupil roared home after tipping off cover for the stretch drive to score by 1¼ lengths in 1:51.3 and return a handsome $36.60 to win. Golden Quest N rallied after going second-over to grab the place spot. A game Betalady hung in there for third.

 

"She's a big closer," said Cleary, as Sweet Lucy Lou raised her lifetime stats to 10 wins from 50 starts. "It was a big class drop for her. Last year, she was fourth in the Breeders Crown [won by Kissin In The Sand]. Hopefully, she can be a stakes filly this year. She's a big-track horse and is staked to all of the big races at The Meadowlands and Mohawk."

"I looked at her lines and that cemented in my mind that she's crazy good off cover," said McCarthy. "I was hoping she'd be good enough and she was."

Owned by Royal Wire Products, Sweet Lucy Lou recorded her first win since October 9 of last year and lifted her lifetime bank account to $245,602.

A LITTLE MORE: Leading driver Dexter Dunn and Yannick Gingras both won three races on the card, while Andy Miller, McCarthy and Mark MacDonald all won two apiece. ... Jeff Cullipher had a training double. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,706,688. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6 p.m.

by Dave Little, for The Meadowlands

 

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