For Opinion, click here for View from the Racetrack Grandstand

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Jug winner Limelight Beach kicks off 5-year-old season at Big M

by James Witherite, Meadowlands media relations

East Rutherford, N.J. – Limelight Beach, the 2014 Little Brown Jug winner, will make his seasonal debut in Saturday’s (February 20) featured event at The Meadowlands after last week's races--and his expected return to the track--were postponed due to extreme cold.  The 5-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere and Benear tackles seven others in the $20,000 upper-level pace, and has been installed as the 3-1 morning line second choice in the evening’s eighth of 14 races.

As a 4-year-old, Limelight Beach only managed a pair of wins in 21 starts.  Nonetheless, he maintained a string of minor placings in stakes events through North America, including a second-place finish in the Prix d’́Été at Hippodrome 3R and a third-place finish in the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk.  Yannick Gingras is reunited with the Ron Burke trainee, and the pair start from post 8.  Among the other top contenders are 5-2 morning line favorite Rockeyed Optimist (post 7, Tim Tetrick), who was just outkicked in his seasonal debut last two weeks ago, and Ashley’s Husband (post 2, Brett Miller), whose ferocious :25.4 last quarter propelled him to victory in the top pacing event that same night.

A pair of sub-featured $13,000 conditioned paces make up half of the late Pick 4 sequence, with third-level fields contesting the ninth and eleventh races.  In the ninth event, Mark Capone trainee Kingofthejungle (post 9, Andy Miller) seeks to make amends after facing top-level competition, but will square off against Meadows invader Some Kinda Beach (post 2, Jim Marohn, Jr.) and Yonkers shipper UF Rockin Dragon (post 6, Tetrick), both of which step down from tougher competition as well.  The eleventh race is equally competitive, given the consistent success of Cobalt Man (post 1, Tetrick) and Dune Dude (post 5, Gingras) at this class along with Jacksrluckytoo (post 6, Joe Bongiorno), who has proven a gritty contender on a consistent basis of late.

The pair of sub-featured events are the foundation of the late Pick 4, which carries a $50,000 guaranteed pool and begins in race nine.  Earlier in the card, another Pick 4 and a Pick 5 boast $55,000 in additional guaranteed pools, while over $123,000 in carryover money will await punters in the night’s two 20¢ Jackpot High 5 wagers should neither jackpot be claimed on Friday.

Post time for Saturday’s program is 6:35 p.m. Eastern.