by Carol Hodes
MANALAPAN, NJ – July 10, 2014 – The quartet of $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for two-year-olds are gems in a star-studded 13-race program, including the Meadowlands Pace, on Saturday night, July 12, 2014 at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
It is early in the campaign of these two-year-olds but already some of the divisional standouts are beginning to emerge.
Among the trotters – with 10 colts and geldings carded in the first race and seven fillies in the second race – the Muscles Yankee colt French Laundry has already distinguished himself with a stakes record equaling 1:56 flat mile two weeks ago in the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes.
The Jimmy Takter trainee, who will be driven by Takter, matched the mark set by Yankee Glide in 1996. He is rated 5-2 in the morning line, leaving from the rail.
A $115,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase, he races for Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ and Ontario-based John Fielding, Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.
The Takter Stable also sends out Canepa Hanover [2-1 from post three] and Falk On Hill [15-1 from post nine], both sons of Muscle Hill.
Driven by Yannick Gingras, Canepa Hanover, the odds on choice in a division of last week’s second leg, broke stride and finished last after winning a baby race by nearly 19 lengths in 1:56.1. Guess Whos Back by Muscles Yankee won that race in 1:57 and will once again be partnered with Brian Sears, leaving from post five and rated 7-2 in the morning line.
Only seven fillies will go to the gate in their division, six of which are daughters of Muscle Hill, including 4-5 favorite Mission Brief and 2-1 second choice Saturday Mornings.
Mission Brief, driven by Gingras and trained by Ron Burke, posted a stakes record 1:55.1, winning last week’s second leg by nine and three-quarter lengths over Saturday Mornings. She eclipsed Act Of Grace  and Southwind Cocoa  who shared the 1:55.3 New Jersey Sire Stakes record.
A $150,000 Lexington Selected yearling purchase, she is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stable and Weaver Bruscemi.
Saturday Mornings, driven by David Miller and trained by Joe Holloway, won an opening round split after Mission Brief broke stride, and was second in their rematch last week. Owned by Bluestone Farms of Hopewell, NJ, she was a $32,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase.
The New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals bracket the card with the pacing colts and geldings occupying the 11th race and the pacing fillies the final event on the 13-race card.
In the colts division, Dealt A Winner by Cam’s Card Shark captured both of his preliminary leg starts, Artspeak by Western Ideal won his debut appearance last week and Weapons Dealer, also by Western Ideal, scored two weeks ago. They are the linesmaker’s top choices.
Dealt A Winner, driven by Miller and trained by Ed Hart, leaves from post four and is rated 5-2. A $35,000 Harrisburg yearling owned by Jeffrey Snyder, who raced his sire, Dealt A Winner won his first start on the front end in 1:52.4 and his second from off the pace in 1:53.4.
Artspeak, who debuted last week and won by two and a quarter lengths in 1:53.3, is a Tony Alagna-trainee entrusted to driver Scott Zeron. A $100,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase, he is co-owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In the Gym Partners. He drew post eight and is 3-1 in the morning line.
Weapons Dealer, a 1:54.2 winner, starts from post seven with Brett Miller driving for trainer Isaac Waxman. He was a $10,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase from the White Birch Farm consignment for Brenda Waxman and Aaron Waxman. He is listed at 7-2 in the field of 10.
The fillies close out the card with nine hopefuls, including Stacia Hanover, 2-1 in the early line from post six, with Zeron at the lines.
The Western Ideal filly, trained by Steve Elliott, has won both of her New Jersey Sire Stakes starts, banking $37,750 for Ohioans David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio, who acquired her for $35,000 at the Harrisburg Sale.
The Saturday night card at the Meadowlands has an early post time of 6:30 p.m. It features seven Grand Circuit stakes in addition to the four New Jersey Sires Stakes Finals, with total purses in excess of $2.5 million.
The $776,000 Meadowlands Pace will be broadcast live on the CBS Sports Network from 9-10 p.m. and the whole card will be featured on the TVG Network.