A star-laden card of Meadowlands qualifiers were conducted on a pleasant Friday morning of 30 degrees with mild gusts to no wind.
The third race trot saw Sweet Justice (Saunders) return to form after a month’s freshening to lead every call in 1:53.2, home in 28.2 for Tetrick. Daylon Magician was second with a mild close after a pocket ride and Sevruga an even third in his first appearance since October’s Breeders Crown.
Race four was won in a 1:53.2 romp by Charisma Hanover (Burke) who sailed along on an open lead through even fractions for Gingras in her initial foray at age four. Left in her wake was 2013 Breeders Crown winner Shelliscape who closed willingly into the 27.4 final quarter in her second qualifier.
Summertime Lea is another four year old mare making her 2014 debut for the Burke barn and man was she impressive. She cut the mile and finished with something in reserve for driver Andy Miller in 1:52.3. Pan Luis Obispo was a comfortable second and Androvette an even third looking much like she does every spring, racing herself to an edge in what was her second qualifier.
Julie Miller took the lines on The Lunch Pail, a house horse owned by Andy, and she made it count, steering the lightly raced sophomore to a 1:55.3 win under minimal encouragement.
The remarkable Foiled Again made his 2014 bow for the Burke barn in the seventh race and wowed the tiny legion of qualifier faithful with his determination…again. Settled third for Gingras through slow numbers, he tipped at the top of the final turn, ran down the formidable Bettor’s Edge who lead through the “walk in the park” fractions then held off the late bid of Word Power in 1:53.1/26.1…amazing.
Sweet Lou is back as well and strolled through easy numbers closing out a 1:52.1 mile with a 26.4 final panel under no Matt Kakaley urging. Hillbilly Hanover poked his head out of the pocket, was rebuffed, accepted his fate willingly and held second. Mach It So was a good third.