Doo Wop Hanover made it a series sweep, winning the $250,000 Graduate Final in 1:48, but he had to work very hard to get to the winner’s circle on Friday night at The Meadowlands.
The pace was frantic and frenzied early in the mile as Lyonssomewhere and Andy Miller were intent on the lead, parking out Bushwacker around the first turn. That speed duel resulted in a wild 25.2 first quarter. There was a chasm of nearly six lengths back to Rockeyed Optimist in fourth, who then had to make up that ground and commit first over, which enabled Doo Wop Hanover to track his cover from the half-mile pole onward. Lyonssomewhere led the field past three quarters in 1:21, with Rockeyed Optimist stalled first over and Doo Wop Hanover forced to fan three-wide at the three quarter pole. In the meantime, Limelight Beach was lurking in the pocket as the field turned for home. Lyonssomewhere refused to yield ground as he continued to lead through the stretch, John Campbell got to work on Doo Wop Hanover and he was gathering momentum down the center of the track, but Lyonssomewhere just wasn’t giving up. Finally, in the shadow of the wire, Doo Wop Hanover was able to reel in the pace-setter and score the series sweep getting up by a head over Lyonssomewhere who was very game in defeat to finish second, with All Bets Off a rallying third.
Doo Wop Hanover is trained by Steve Elliot and owned by Peter Blood and Rick Berks. Blood confirmed that Doo Wop Hanover will make his next start in the William Haughton Memorial, with eliminations (if necessary) to be held on Saturday, July 11th and the Final on Meadowlands Pace Night, Saturday, July 18th.
The victory was the twelfth in the career of Doo Wop Hanover, who now has earnings beyond $566,000.
New Jersey Sire Stakes action kicked off the Friday program with a $25,000 division for the two year old filly pacers and the first division featured plenty of action. In fact, there were no less than five lead changes throughout the mile.
The first to the lead was Show Time Hill, as she flashed the most speed off the gate, but Sonoma Valley paced on through the first quarter and she cleared the lead past the opening quarter in 28.2.
That lead was short-lived, as Show Time Hill pulled the pocket as soon as the fillies straightened up on the backstretch and would lead again between calls because the 9/5 favorite Blue Moon Stride launched a backside brush to the lead and would clear that lead before the half-mile in 57.4. The race favorite then faced immediate pressure from Rock My Girl, who surged past the favorite as the field moved into the far turn and she glided past three-quarters in 1:26.2. before turning for home in full command. Blue Moon Stride briefly pulled from the pocket with hopes of catching Rock My Girl, but all she could do is chase that filly home as Rock My Girl powered home in 27.1 to win in style in 1:53.3.
Rock My Girl, a $20,000 Lexington-Select yearling, is a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover and is the first foal out of the dam My Girl’s A Star (Art Major). She is owned by West Wins Stable, Adriano Sorella and Ron Broadstone and trained by Casie Coleman. John Campbell guided the filly to victory.
In the first $20,000 Two Year Old Colt Trot, Southwind Frank was bet down like an international good thing and the punters were right, although they had to survive a real scare. Released as the 1/2 prohibitive choice, Southwind Frank went right to the lead and was able to roll through tepid fractions of 30, 1:00.3 and 1:30 with Brooklyn Hill, a $390,000 Harrisburg yearling on his back throughout the mile. While Southwind Frank seemed to be rolling right a long, Dave Miller pulled the pocket midway on the far turn with Brooklyn Hill and from there the race was on as the pair of freshman trotters kicked away from the field and stormed through a 26.3 final quarter with only a neck separating the two on the wire, with Southwind Frank holding on. Both trotters showed an amazing turn of foot and the future for both looks bright.
Southwind Frank was a $100,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington-Select Sale. He is a son of Muscle Hill out of Flawless Lindy (Cantab Hall). This is that mares first foal. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Our Hrs Cents Stables and J & T Silva Stables and trained by Ron Burke. The winner driver was Yannick Gingras.
The second division for the two year old trotting colts featured another short-priced favorite for Ron Burke in Southwind Flash. But he would have his hands full with Jack Vernon, a well-bred colt for Randy Beeckman.
It would be Jack Vernon who dictated the terms. In fact, he led at every point of call into the stretch, wheeling off fractions of 28.4, 1:00 and 1:30.1, before facing the challenge of Southwind Flash who pulled the pocket as the field approached the top of the stretch. But, Jack Vernon had plenty left in the tank and trotted home in 27.1. while fending off the favorite to win in 1:57.2. Not to be out-done, Dominion Beach, the son of Hambletonian Oaks winner Windylane Hanover, who watched all the action early, trotted home quite well, showing rapid acceleration and rallied past Southwind Flash late to steal second money.
Jack Vernon is by Muscle Hill out of Vernon Blue Chip (Sir Taurus). The win was the second in Sire Stakes action for John Campbell. Jack Vernon is a kin to New Jersey Sire Stakes Champion, Blue Mac Lad, trained by Randy Beeckman for Miller’s Stable who purchased the talented colt at the Lexington-Select sale for $50,000.
The two year old colt pace drew 10 freshman pacers in one division for $25,000. Ideal Rocky was sent off as the 4/5 favorite, but she was green behind the gate, which cost her ground early on. There was not much early speed off the gate, which enabled longshot Rock N Roll Style to take the field to the opening quarter from the pole in 28.3. Rock Power was moved early to secure position and led between calls as Boston Red Rocks powered up and took the lead before the half-mile in 57.3 and would never look back, leading the field past three-quarters in 1:26.2 before pulling away in the stretch to win impressively in 1:53.2. The win was the third on the card for John Campbell, all in Sire Stakes action.
Boston Red Rocks is by Rocknroll Hanover out of McGibson (McArdle). He is trained by none other than Steve Elliot, who is having a sensational season and ownerd by Richard Berks, who purchased the colt at Harrisburg last year for $50,000.
The two year old filly trotters were split into two $20,000 divisions. All The Time was released as the 3/5 favorite in the first split, but she was never in contention for the win, but the opposite was the case for her stablemate, Hollywood Hill. That filly was allowed to coast along first over while Silvia reach the opening quarter in 29.1, but Hollywood Hill quickly took over as the field reached the backstretch. From there, trainer and driver Jimmy Takter put the whip on his filly’s tale and she responded past the half-mile in 59 seconds. The leading margin only expanded from there as Hollywood Hill found herself four lengths clear as she trotted past three-quarters in 1:27.4. Her lead proved to be insurmountable as she coasted through the stretch to win emphatically in 1:56.2. Southwind Adele rallied to finish second as Silvia faded to third.
Hollywood Hill is by Muscle Hill, out of the marvelous mare, Lantern Kronos (Viking Kronos), making her a half-sister the Hambletonian contender The Bank. She is owned by Goran Falk and was trained and driven by Jimmy Takter.
The second division saw speed from the far outside as Dream Child made the lead from post 10 and was able to do so through moderate fractions. The Muscle Hill filly spun through fractions of 28.3, 59.1 and 1:29.2, while going unchallenged. Race favorite Gifted Lady was allowed to settle just off the pace in third and Takter bided his time with his filly, before pulling her as the field circled the far turn. He steadily gained on the leader and was able to edge away late for a popular victory as the 6/5 choice in 1:57.4.
Gifted Lady is by Muscle Hill out of Alix Hall (Conway Hall). She is a half-sister to Flex The Muscle and was driven by her trainer Jimmy Takter for owner and breeders Silver Linden Farms.
Both Jackpots in the Super Hi-5 went unclaimed, with the fifth race carryover now standing at $173,354 and the last race carryover growing to $157,586.
Total handle for the Friday program yielded a 16-percent increase over 2014, with on-track handle up a staggering 46-percent. The large crowd remained after the races for a Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular.
Post time for the 13-race Saturday program is 7:15 P.M.0