by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Heavy favorites were sent to the gate in four $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes finals Saturday night at the Meadowlands, and when the dust cleared, the results for chalk players were clearly mixed.
Southwind Frank continued his march toward the Hambletonian with an easy win in the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot. The son of Muscle Hill went the mile in 1:52.3 for trainer Ron Burke, upping his lifetime record to 13 wins in 14 starts.
As the 2-5 favorite, Southwind Frank returned $2.80 to win for driver Yannick Gingras and finished 2 lengths in front of Brooklyn Hill. Mavens Way was third.
“Frank’s pretty good right now,” understated Burke in the winner’s circle.
Blue Moon Stride crushed her 3-year-old filly pacing foes for a third straight week, winning in 1:51.2 by 2¾ lengths
over JK Fannie. Rocknroll Vision was third.
Sent off at 1-9, Blue Moon Stride paid $2.20 for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Mark Harder. She’s now seven-for-17 lifetime.
Unfortunately, things did not go as well for Boston Red Rocks and All The Time.
Boston Red Rocks had the lead turning for home in the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace but could not hold off a determined Katies Rocker, who prevailed by a neck over the 1-9 favorite despite racing first-over for the final three-eighths of a mile. Ideal Rocky was third.
Katies Rocker paced the mile in 1:50.3 and returned $12.60 to win for driver David Miller and trainer Jim Campbell.
In the 3-year-old filly trot, 1-5 choice All The Time provided live cover for eventual winner Southwind Hope, who stormed home to win by 1¼ lengths in 1:54.2. All The Time held second while Jazebel De Vie was third.
Southwind Hope paid $25.40 to win for driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller.
MARVELOUS MEL: Mel Mara bullied a talented field of open handicap pacers, and in the process, missed the all-time race-mile record by just a fifth of a second when the son of Lis Mara stopped the clock in 1:47, equaling State Treasurer's world-record for an older pacing stallion on a mile track. Always B Miki, the 3-5 favorite, was no match for the winner after racing first-over most of the way.
Mel Mara returned $6.80 to win for driver Corey Callahan and trainer Dylan Davis.
CARRRYING ON: The two Jackpot Super High Five wagers offered at the Big M have carryovers that are, in one case, good, and in the other, incredible. The 5th race JSH5 carryover now stands at $12,789.86, while the 12th race wager now has $246,843.80 waiting in the pool for the next program. … All-source wagering on the card totaled $2,883,028. … The Meadowlands returns with live racing Friday at 7:15 p.m.