I'm not going to start with the Meadowlands Pace (Roll With Joe won it), but begin with a few other races that caught my eye during the night.
Takterrific!! Who the hell said the 7 hole was taboo, because See You At Peelers cleaned their clocks in the Tarport Hap on the Meadowlands Pace undercard. And what the hell was Krispy Apple doing trying to over-take SYAP on the backstretch, then going WAY wide on the turn for home? I think a lot of the entrants were trying to out-race the filly phenom, but were left scratching their heads. And what the hell happened to Pretty Katherine? She was pulled up off the gate. Would it be impossible for the commentators to give us an update? Just tell us if she's ok or not damnit! Idyllic was the only real threat to SYAP and after she was given the whip on the stretch for home, she basically said, "eff you", and broke stride, however she still retained her second place finish.
Brian Sears said that SYAP felt like she was going to break stride on the turn for home, but he caught it, and checked her back into her momentum. She may be looking for a much needed rest after this race, and hopefully her connections won't run her into the ground and she ends up becoming lame. So, the filly phenom wins in 1:51:0 and keeps her winning streak going - 20 and 0. To compare her to the thoroughbred, Zenyatta, would be like comparing apples to oranges, however, both are great for their perspective industries.
Race 6: Speaking of Takter, he also had Pastor Stephen entered in the Stanley Dancer Memorial Elimination for 3-yr-old trotting colts, and while he wasn't as successful as his stablemate, See You At Peelers, the race was still exciting. Pastor Stephen trotted to the top in 27:1, but the 5 horse, Dejarmbro, took over in 56:1, and then the race belonged to Manyofmanymissions, who eventually won it in 1:52:1. The son of Yankee Glide is definitely on his way to the Hambletonian as he cleared the wire just 1/5th of a second off the Stanley Dancer track record. Trainer Erv Miller commented, "The horse has been a puzzle", "He had an abscess in his foot and we re-shod him." Andy Miller had the drive and will be looking forward to the Hambletonian.
Race 7: I Fought Dalaw wins the NJ Sire Stakes Championship, with Dave Miller on the lines. Trainer Sam De Pinto had only good words for the Western Ideal colt, saying, "He don't give up", and when asked about how he came across the 2-yr-old? "I liked the way he moved in the field and took a shot at him."
Race 8: With Yannick Gingras at the lines, the Astreos sired, Mr Massimo never looked back as he crossed the wire in 1:50:2.
Race 9: Here we go! So here were my picks: Wink N Atcha, Big Jim, Foreclosure N. Who wins? Or should I say, "Who screws up my trifecta?" ROLL WITH JOE!! But first, I would like to say that this is the first time I have seen a small video clip of HOW the entrants got to the Meadowlands Pace. It was a quick montage of some of the elimination races, however, I would have liked to have seen the entrants a little more in-depth. Maybe them frolicking at the farm, or explain their pedigrees, or talk about the trials and tribulations of racing. But, who cares, it was better than nothing. I learned quite a few things before the race, which explains alot about the outcome:
* Betterthancheddar scoped mucous because of allergies, that, and the fact that he had a shoe change. Yikes!
* Custard The Dragon touches his knees and that's why his connections picked the 3 hole...Ummm...something to keep in mind when betting him in future races??
* Foreclosure N was born on January 1, which makes him the oldest colt in the field! I think he's coming into a win soon and should have a nice 4-yr-old campaign!
But, as much as Big Jim tried his hardest to win, having 5 lengths to make up on the outside turn for home, it was Roll With Joe, a $100,000 purchase at the Lexington Sale, that stole the show. The fractions were:
26:1 - 53:0 - 1:21:0 - 1:48:2
That had to have been the hardest race Big Jim has run and with a bit more real estate, Jim would have nipped Joe!
Joe's driver, Ron Pierce, is no stranger to the winner's circle in the Meadowlands Pace, where he guided Well Said in 2009 and Art Official in 2008. He has also won million dollar races in the last 6 straight years. KA-CHING! After the race, Pierce commented on the Cams Card Shark progeny; "He's better than anyone thought he was." And when asked about his race strategy, the Hall of Famer easily quipped, "I thought I had enough horse to hold him [Jim] off!"
Trainer Ed Hart was over-the-top with joy as he stood shaking in the winner's circle; "He had an excellent week in training." "Pierce had real confidence in him." Hmmm, wonder what's next for Joe??
On to other news: The Meadowlands Pace consol didn't surprise me too much as Up The Credit, with Brian Sears on the lines, "pulled a rabbit out of his hat" and drove hard on the outside to steal the win away from High Noon and Ron Pierce in 1:50:1. When it comes down to it, I don't think Up The Credit would have done much in the Meadowlands Pace, and maybe the consolation was a better fit for the Western Terror colt.
Other horses "kicking their heels in delight" with big wins:
Monkey On My Wheel; Camille; Chapter Seven; Pirouette Hanover; Vic Smith; Upside Hanover; Twin B Legend; Mach Of Ballykeel; Lucky Jim.
The Sophomore Pacing Filly Final will go down on July 23, 2011 at Mohawk; Here is the line-up:
2. Monkey On My Wheel
3. Patsys Luck
4. Village Janus
5. Imagine Semalu
6. Modern Connection
7. Machs Delicacy
8. Look Cheap
9. Epoxy Queen
10. Brush With Royalty
AE Lucky Taryn
The Sophomore Pacing Colt Final also set to go down on July 23, 2011 at Mohawk, features:
1. Twin B Legend
2. Prodigal Seelster
3. Mach Of Ballykeel
4. Calgary Seelster
5. Drain Daddy
6. Cam B Zipper
7. Dreamfair Kovu
8. Thats The Life
9. Camaes Fellow
AE Eastend Eddy
Stay tuned for more exciting harness racing action!!
Stay safe, keep your hooves on the ground, and keep reaching for the wire!