Southwind Cocoa leaves from post six in a field of 12 in the $36,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies, carded as the sixth race. Corky drew the rail in the $34,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and gelding, scheduled as race two.
“Cocoa,” a daughter of Chocolatier and Missymae Bluestone, was a modest $6,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase who banked $98,585 at two with three wins and a third in 10 starts. With a third-place finish in her 2013 debut in the Simpson at the Meadowlands, she went over the $100,000 mark in career earnings for the partnership of Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell, PA and William J. Augustine of Hammonton, NJ.
The Linda Toscano-trainee has Tim Tetrick listed to drive and is rated 4-1 in the morning line.
In addition to Southwind Cocoa, Queen of More and Shared Past are daughters of Chocolatier. All the other entrants are by Muscles Yankee: Vintage Oaks, Miss Steele, Peaceful EZ Feelin, Doc Boyce, Lady Dynamite, Vida De Vie, Time to Kill, Silver Credit and World Tour.
Corky, a son of Muscles Yankee – Clarice Marie, was runner-up by a neck in the 2012 Peter Haughton Memorial two starts before he drew off to a three-length victory in last year’s $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final.
A $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Corky was second in his season’s debut in a Simpson division. He now has a career record of three wins and five seconds from eight tries and earnings of $233,988 for owners Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ and Toronto-based brothers John and Jim Fielding.
Corky and Simpson division winner Muscles Mountain, coupled in the wagering, are the 4-5 morning line favorites.
Corky, Smilin Eli, Amalfi Coast, Super Classic, King Muscles, Timo Deo and The Franchise are all eligible to the Hambletonian. King Muscles is not. All eight entrants are sons of Muscles Yankee.
The New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for three-year-olds, all with $150,000 estimated purses, will take place on June 1 at the Meadowlands.
--Submitted by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ