JL Cruze is the fastest trotter in Meadowlands history. After winning the $250,000 Graduate Final in 1:49.4, JL Cruze captured that title as well as becoming a World Champion as the final time was the fastest trotting mile in one-mile track history.
Sent off as the 3/5 favorite, JL Cruze floated off the gate and sat on the outside while the leaders sorted themselves out. In the meantime, Father Patrick was right behind JL Cruze early in the mile. Gural Hanover cleared the lead from Opulent Yankee through the first quarter in 26.3 and that is when JL Cruze and John Campbell made their move to the lead. From there, JL Cruze dictated the terms. Meanwhile, Father Patrick found himself parked, about six lengths off the lead of JL Cruze, who reached the half mile in 54.2. At that point, Father Patrick launched his bid and moved smartly first over into the strong pace as JL Cruze zipped past three quarters in 1:22.4. But from there, Father Patrick was all-done and JL Cruze set sail for home and opened up a three length lead. Shake It Cerry, who caught up to the cover of Father Patrick as the field reached the head of the stretch, kicked home powerfully and she began to reel in the favorite as the wire approached. But the wire came in time, and when JL Cruze hit the finish, the teletimer read 1:49.4. Shake It Cerry put forth the race of her life, finishing a head back in second, with Resolve rallying well to be third.
JL Cruze, who was a $35,000 Harrisburg mixed sale purchase, has now earned over $396,000 this season and is without question, the best trotter in North America. His trainer Eric Ell spoke about his future plans.
“He’ll be here next week,” said Ell, confirming that JL Cruze will be supplemented to The Hambletonian Maturity on Meadowlands Pace. Speaking to the final time, Ell was at a loss for words. “I could never have expected this, it’s unbelievable, just unbelievable. He has had two major injuries this year, but he just keeps on coming. What a horse.”
JL Cruze is owned by W Kenneth Wood, W J Dittmar Jr and S J Iaquinta and was driven by John Campbell.
The Meadowlands Pace Eliminations were on tap Saturday night as well.
In The Arsenal put forth one of the best performances of his career in the first $50,000 Meadowlands Pace Elimination. Sent off as the second choice in the wagering at 5/2, In The Arsenal and Brian Sears were intent on the lead. Artspeak and Scott Zeron tried to make the early lead, but Sears stepped on the gas pedal and seated Artspeak in the pocket on the first turn. In The Arsenal reached the opening quarter in 27.2 and then was able to steal a soft second quarter, reaching the half-mile in just 56.1. As trainer Kelvin Harrison pointed out in his post-race interview, “at that point the race was over.” From there, In The Arsenal picked up the tempo and Artspeak appeared to struggle to keep up as In The Arsenal kicked away past three-quarters in 1:23.3. Sears did not let up, as In The Arsenal sprinted a final quarter in 25.3, completing a 53-second back half-mile to win his Pace Elimination easily in 1:49.1.
Dealt A Winner, who was dismissed at 26-1, sat third throughout the mile, angled in the stretch and paced home impressively to grab the second spot with the Dude’s The Man third. Artspeak, who squandered a pocket trip behind the winner did qualify for the Final finishing fourth and Revenge Shark grabbed the last spot from this elimination to make the Final, finishing fifth.
In The Arsenal won for the 11th time in 19 starts and now has earnings over $750,000. The 1:49.1 clocking was a lifetime mark. He is owned by White Birch Farm and In The Arsenal Racing and trained by Kelvin Harrison.
For Harrison, this will be his first starter in The Meadowlands Pace in 23 years and he is excited to be back. “It takes power to get one to this race and we have a good one. This is what we’re in the game for.”
Brian Sears was oozing confidence after his win. “He has been good the whole time,” said Sears. “He’s just a sweetheart of a horse and hopefully we can get it done next week.”
Sears last won The Meadowlands Pace ten years ago with the legendary Rocknroll Hanover.
The Meadowlands Pace Field was drawn and is as follows:
1) Lyons Levi Lewis 30-1
2) Dude’s The Man 30-1
3) Artspeak 6-1
4) Wiggle It Jiggleit 4/5
5) Rock N’ Roll World 50-1
6) In The Arsenal 3-1
7) Revenge Shark 30-1
8) Dealt A Winner 20-1
9) Wakizashi Hanover 4-1
10) Badiou Hanover 50-1
There was a single Mistletoe Shalee elimination for $25,000, with three fillies receiving byes into the final. Those fillies are Bettor Be Steppin, Sassa Hanover and The Show Returns. The winner of the elimination was Band Of Angels, who scored in 1:50, a lifetime
best effort. Her driver Yannick Gingras put her in play early and she dictated the fractions through 27.2, 55.4 and 1:23.2 before turning for home in front. Divine Caroline was right on her tail first over with Moonlit Dance looking to rally off cover and she came flying late, but Band Of Angels was able to just hold on. Moonlit Dance was second and Divine Caroline third. Also making the final were Stacia Hanover, Single Me, Deli Beach and Happiness.
Band Of Angels is trained by Ron Burke for W J Donovan.
The $62,406 W.N Reynolds Memorial for three year old trotters was dramatically altered with the scratch of morning line favorite Muscle Diamond. Cruzado Dela Noche was established as the 4/5 choice, but he made a break before the start. The 5/2 second choice, Real DJ Hanover jumped off-stride on the first turn. That left the race to Suit And Tie who won in wire to wire fashion in 1:54.1. Callahan put his colt right on the lead and he wheeled off fractions of 27.4, 57.2 and 1:26.1 before turning for home with a longshot, Colbert, on his back. But Suit And Tie had plenty left in the tank and he rolled home to score rather easily over Colbert. Total Darkness checked in third.
Suit And Tie made it back to back Meadowlands wins and has now won four times in 2015 from eight starts. The winner is eligible to The Hambletonian. He is trained by John Butenschoen for William Wiswell and M&L of Delaware.
Model Behavior dominated her $29,403 division of the W.N. Reynolds Memorial for filly trotters, winning in wire to wire fashion in 1:53.2. The three year old daughter of Muscles Yankee was the 3/5 betting choice in the Grand Circuit event and did not disappoint. Tim Tetrick put his filly on the lead from the start and she never looked back, coasting through fractions of 28.3, 57.1 and 1:25.4 before sprinting through the stretch in 27.3 to win with ease. Longshot Meadowbranch Wendy rallied well while outsprinting Scented Roses to grab the place spot.
The winner, who gave Mission Brief all she could handle in the New Jersey Sire Stakes Final, is trained by Robert Baggitt Jr. for the Fair Winds Farm. The 1:53.2 clocking was a lifetime mark in Model Behavior’s sixth win from 16 career starts. Her earnings continue to close in on the six-figure mark as they now stand at over $84,000.
The other W.N. Reynolds division for the filly trotters carried a purse of $29,803 and it was won by Magic Marker who was released at 4-1. The story of the race until the final jump was Rules Of The Road, who was gunned to the lead and flew through fractions of 27.1, 55.3 and 1:23.2. Pocket-sitter Blue Muse was having trouble keeping up while first over I’m So Fancy stalled the live outer flow. This allowed Corey Callahan to get separation on the field and Rules Of The Road opened up a five length lead in the stretch. But she began to get very leg-weary as the finish line neared and that enabled Magic Marker, who was far back early in the mile to gun down the pacesetter in the final strides to steal the victory in a very sharp 1:52.2. The time was a lifetime best performance. Lock Down Lindy could rally enough off cover and had to settle for third as the 6/5 favorite.
Magic Marker is a three year old Andover Hall filly for Nifty Norman. She was driven by Dave Miller who had his choice of three fillies in the race. The winner is owned by Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and Dave Mc Duffeee along with Little E L.L.C. Magic Marker is eligible to The Hambletonian Oaks and the Delvin Miller Memorial.
Table Talk will march into The Golden Girls on Meadowlands Pace night off an impressive first over, winning performance in the $26,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. Allowed to settle just off the pace, Table Talk and Tim Tetrick bided their time, as Hot List rolled to a scorching opening quarter of 25.3. Radar Contact, the prohibitive betting choice at odds of 1/2 then made a quarter-move to the lead and she would dictate the tempo through a half-mile in 54.1 before facing the challenge of Table Talk. Those two mares raced on even terms past three-quarters in 1:22.4. When the field straightened away in the stretch, Table Talk asserted herself, leveling off and pacing home in 26.4 to win in a lifetime best-equaling 1:49.3. Beach Story rallied to grab the second spot from Radar Contact.
Table Talk is a four year old Bettor’s Delight mare and is owned by The Wiz Kids Stable LLC. The winning trainer is W. Bart Dalious. Table talked returned $8.60 to win.
There were no winning tickets in the jackpot Super Hi-5 in the last race, so the carryover pool going into Friday’s program now stands at $197,368.
Total handle for Meadowlands Pace elimination night was $3,053,416 compared to $2,881,516 on Meadowlands Pace elimination night last year. This year did have an additional race, but also an early start time of 5:30 P.M.
Racing returns with the New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for two year olds on Friday, July 17th, with post time set for 7:15 P.M.