The inaugural $100,000 Maturity trot lived up to expectations with Modern Family prevailing in a personal best of 1:51.4 on Derby night at the Meadowlands.
Created as a launch point for the last year's graduating sophomore class into the aged ranks, the Maturity field represented the best of those currently racing. Guccio went away as the public choice off his near flawless 2013 form.
The constant movement hearkened back to days gone by at the Big M, with lead changes throughout before Uncle Peter wrestled the lead from Magic Tonight as they turned home. Tim Tetrick had Modern Family positioned second over and powered past that one in the shadow of the wire. Uncle Peter held for second and Guccio found his best stride late for the show.
Two more of last year's stars, Googoo Gaagaa and My MVP made their first starts of the season in the Maturity and both raced creditably.
Modern Family races out of the Daryl Bier barn, who owns him in partnership with Charles Dumbeck and Rchard Poillucci.
Worth noting is that the handle on the Maturity alone was just shy of $375,000.
The $39,615 John F Simpson Memorial stake for three year old colt pacers was the second half of the Daily Double on Saturday. Johny Rock scored a comfortable 1:51.3 win over Rocnrolwilneverdie and Real Rocker, leading nearly all the way for Andy Miller. Sent away as the prohibitive 1/5 choice as part of the John Butenschoen trained entry, Johny Rock is the defending NJSS champ and heads toward those in fine form.
He is owned by the partnership of Wiswell, Goehlen and Schick.
The Meadowlands Racetrack had a spectacular night at the betting windows. The total handle of $3,557,828 on the 13-race card was $1,055,562 more than the 11-race program one year ago. That marked an increase of 42-percent. In addition, the Meadowlands patrons wagered $1,838,752 on the Kentucky Derby card, proving once again that it is the leader in simulcast wagering.