By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ
MANALAPAN, NJ – September 1, 2014 – Too Darn Hot was too much the best, winning the $7,000 opening leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes – Green Acres for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Freehold Raceway on Labor Day, September 1, 2014.
Driven by Eric Abbatiello and trained by Ron Burke, Too Darn Hot scored an easy five and a quarter length victory in 1:59 flat in the co-featured eighth race.
Skullhouse Raider [Cam’s Card Shark] edged out Devil’s Cut [Western Ideal] for second.
Too Darn Hot [$2.20], as on of Rocknroll Hanover, has been first or second in five of seven starts, banking $33,475 for the ownership of Burke Racing Stable of Fredericktown, PA; Our Horse Cents Stables of Clifton Park, NY; Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA and Lawrence Karr of Randolph, NJ.
In a pair of $7,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes-Green Acres for two-year-old pacing fillies, one division was a stretch battle with a narrow margin of victory and another was a wire-to-wire tally, extending a winning streak to three.
In the second race, Smart Zone by Rocknroll Hanover, drew off to a five and three-quarter length victory in 1:56.1 after leading at every call. The Erv Miller trainee, in the hands of Steve Smith, has won three in a row and finished in-the-money in five of eight starts.
Lissan was second best and it was eight lengths to Cheyenne Robin in third. Both are daughters of Rocknroll Hanover.
Smart Zone paid $2.40 to win and pushed her career bankroll over $30,000 for Paymaq Racing of Long Grove, IL and D&M trading LLC of Chicago, IL.
Strut My Stuff by Western Ideal won the second division, the third, racing, prevailing by a neck over Crescent City in a closely contested duel. Jack Baggitt Jr. was at the lines of the Ross Croghan trainee who paced the mile in 1:58.1. She paid $8.20 to win.
Runner-up Crescent City and Hollyrocker, who was six and a half lengths back in third, are both by Rocknroll Hanover.
It was Strut My Stuff’s first win in seven starts. She is owned by Let It Ride Stables of Boca Raton, FL and RBH Ventures Inc. of New York City.
Green Acres action at Freehold continues on Thursday with the second leg of two-year-old trotting colts and geldings with six going postward in a non-wagering event at 12:10 p.m. The six, in post order, are Algorithm, Broken Record, Cruizinwithmuscles, Firestop, Switchblade Hall and El Diablo BR. Algorithm and El Diablo BR are sons of Muscle Hill. The others are by Muscles Yankee.
The $40,000 estimated Marion Dancer Final for New Jersey-sired two-year-old trotting fillies will also be a non-wagering race and is scheduled for 12:20 p.m. Three fillies dropped in the box: Southwind Cartier by Muscle Hill, Showy Starlet by Muscles Yankee and Rules of the Road by Muscle Hill.
The Marion Dancer’s stakes record of 1:59 was set by Lovely in 2005. The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey sponsors the Marion Dancer.