Day At The Track

Big M co-features to Tim Tetrick

03:44 PM 11 Apr 2021 NZST
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Ana Afreet N, harness racing Scirocco Rob, harness racing
Ana Afreet N (#4) holds off Colossal Stride A
Lisa Photo
Scirocco Rob and driver Tim Tetrick
Lisa Photo

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Harness racing driver Tim Tetrick recently returned to The Meadowlands after spending the winter racing at Dover Downs, and based on Saturday night's results, the 39-year-old Hall of Famer hasn't missed a Big M beat by winning four races on the card, including both $30,000 features, one on the pace and the other on the trot.

Ana Afreet N, back from an unsuccessful stint at Yonkers racing in the Borgata series where he finished no better than fourth in three starts, held off 3-5 favorite Colossal Stride A in a thrilling finish in the Preferred for pacers back at the track where he was an impressive wire-to-wire winner on March 6.

Tetrick was intent on racing on the point in the seven-horse field. "If they were going to go a half in :55," said Tetrick. "I might as well be cutting it and make that horse of Dexter's [Dunn, driving Colossal Stride A] chase me, so it just worked out. My horse is a nice horse, he just didn't like the four turns at Yonkers. It just didn't agree with him and he couldn't get around there."

Around two turns at The Big M, it was a far different story.

Yacht Seelster was on the move early and looped Ana Afreet N to grab the lead at the quarter in :27.2. Tetrick immediately moved Ana Afreet N back to the lead and hit the half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:23.3.

Colossal Stride A, the 3-5 favorite, moved from the four-hole just after the half and made his way closer to the leader gradually while racing first-over, and continued his constructive grind throughout the stretch drive. But at the wire, it was Ana Afreet N holding on by a diminishing nose. Vettel N was third. The time for the mile was 1:49.4.

ANA AFREET N REPLAY

 

"I was a little nervous [in deep stretch]," said Tetrick. "Especially when you look back and have Dex coming at you. Luckily, my horse dug in and made me look good."

Trained by Jeff Cullipher and owned by Pollack Racing and Cullipher, Ana Afreet N returned $8.40 to win as the second choice in the betting. The 6-year-old son of Bettor's Delight - Anna Livia has now won 24 of 50 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $198,272.

In the marquee trot, Scirocco Rob stayed on a roll, as the Mark Silva trainee won for the fourth time in five starts. The 6-year-old gelded son of Explosive Matter - Fun At Parties stopped the clock in an eye-popping 1:50.3 to lower his previous lifetime best by a full second.

Things could not have gone any better for the 4-5 favorite, who worked out an ideal pocket trip behind the speedy Nows The Moment (Mark MacDonald), who cut out fractions of :26.4, :54.3 and 1:22.2 before Tetrick tipped Scirocco Rob out of the pocket with an eighth of a mile to go and roared home to an easy 4¼-length score. Nows The Moment held second with Morairtime third.

SCIROCCO ROB REPLAY

 

"My horse is very versatile," said Tetrick. "Last week, he was second-over at Dover and won. Tonight, it worked out perfect."

Sitting off quick fractions in the abbreviated six-horse field (JL Cruze was scratched), Tetrick loved his spot.

"I was thinking, just don't fall off," said Tetrick. "I was pretty confident. My horse was tracking so good."

"I was just trying to have a little fun," said Tetrick when asked about looking back at MacDonald as he went by in the stretch. "Mark was laughing, I was laughing, so it was kind of fun."

Scirocco Rob returned $3.60 to his backers in winning for the 28th time from 81 lifetime starts. His bankroll stands at $551,604 for owners Lewis and Kathleen Whitaker.

WHATTA WEEKEND: With the track's two signature Pick-4s accounting for over $240,000 of action to go along with a pair of potent carryovers, all-source wagering totaled $3,782,327. When you add in Friday's $3.23 million handle, that brought the total of $7-million wagering weekends at The Big M to four on the year.

CARRYOVER CRAZY: The 20-cent Pick-6 pool started out with $9,019 before $64,105 in "new money" was added for a total of $73,124. Those who hit all six winners collected $877.14. The 10-cent Pentafecta/Hi-5 had a carryover of $32,103 before $84,462 was added for a total of $116,565. Those with tickets bearing the combination of 5-1-9-3-7 cashed in for $141.84.

A LITTLE MORE: After only four favorites won on the previous two programs combined, chalk players had smiles on their faces Saturday as six post-time choices hit victory lane. ... Cullipher trained three winners on the card while Bruce Saunders had two. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m.

For full race results, click here.

by Dave Little, for The Meadowlands

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