Saturday night at The Meadowlands was a perfect evening for racing and featured five divisions of the Caramore pacing series for C level pacers. Each division held a purse of $10,000 with a second leg next week and finals estimated at $25,000 on June 21.
The short series is named for Caramore – Irish for big friend – who raced from 1980 to 1988 for the late Rev Thomas O’Connor earning $1,129,411 with 55 wins, 34 seconds and 21 thirds from 199 starts. The son of Jolly Roger – JM Dorothy captured the 1981 New Jersey Classic and was named New Jersey Standardbred of the Year in 1981.
The first division was won by Tell Us More, a four year old son of former New Jersey sire Tell All, driven to a front running 1:50.3 lifetime best by Jim Marshall III. It was the first win of the season for Tell Us More trained by James Siegelman for Michael Casalino, Jr of Freehold, NJ. Seek The Dragon and Corky Baran filled up the board spots.
K Slater was another New Jersey based winner when he scored a gate to wire personal 1:51.3 record in the second division for trainer Tom Fanning and owner Fly By Night Stable of nearby Secaucus, NJ. The Fly By Night stable has had a presence locally for a number of years and includes nearly a dozen principals with Bob Anderson and Tom Amendola calling the shots for the group.
Jason Bartlett drove the seven year old son of Rocknroll Hanover to the triumph. K Slater has earned well in excess of $300,000 career-wise and was scoring for the 21st time in 136 starts. Andrew Luck parlayed a long uncovered journey into second best and I’m Banksy used his characteristic closing kick to snare the show.
In the third split, Jason Bartlett sent favored Duel In The Sun to the front passing the three eighths mark, got a little breather in the middle then held safe in a career best 1:51.4. This Cambest four year old is approaching the $300,000 mark himself with most of that accumulated in the Kentucky State Bred program. He is now trained by Mark Ford who owns the gelding in partnership with VIP Internet Stable, LLC of Piscataway, NJ. On The Radar was an unlucky second, lacking room to maneuver until too late and Up Up And Out held third after ranging up first-over.
John’s Polyview struck another blow for forward placement in race five, setting all the pace while getting kind fractions and winning under wraps in 1:51.2 for Eric Goodell. He’s a four year old McArdle that had a big year in the Pennsylvania program at age two, was disappointing last year at three and was winning for the first time in five outings this year. He is trained by New Jersey native Donna Marshall, the 2013 recipient of USHWA's January Davies Humanitarian Award, for California owner Mortberg Trust. Pembroke Dewey was second and Relentless Dreamer third.
The fourth Caramore division saw Long Fight Hanover make the early lead at 25-1 through an opening quarter of 27 flat, but then Bob Di Nozzi backed the field down with a 31-second, second quarter which prompted Joe Bongiorno to wheel his gelding, A Place in History to the outside where he would brush to the lead and quickly pull away, hitting three-quarters in 1:26 before kicking home in 27-flat to score a Caramore win in 1:53. The winner is owned by Barbara Bongiorno and trained by Richard Johnson.
The fifth and final Carmore division went to 6/5 favorite Grab Your Keys, who brushed to the lead around the far turn, hitting three quarters in 1:23.2 before holding off the late charge of 16-1 longshot All My Life in 1:51.2. The win was the third on the season for the Michael Fiumenero trainee and owners Sam Demchak and Brian Bennett.
During the afternoon, nearly 13,000 fans flooded The Meadowlands with hopes of witnessing history in The Belmont Stakes and although they were left disappointed by California Chrome’s loss, all enjoyed a great day at the track. This makes back to back weekends where over 10,000 people attended the races at the East Rutherford oval.
Racing resumes on Friday with first post time at 7:15 P.M. The Friday card is expected to feature the 2014 debut of Captaintreacherous, the 2012 and 2013 Pacer of the Year as well as World Champion Sebastian K in a $50,000 TVG Free For All Trot.