by James Witherite, Meadowlands racing media
East Rutherford, N.J. – Fresh off a resounding 1:51 win two weeks ago, Michael Polansky’s Ashley’s Husband has been installed the 5-2 morning line favorite in Saturday (November 26) evening’s $17,500 featured top-level pacing event at The Meadowlands, but he’ll face his toughest test to date this fall.
The 29-time winner used a three-wide push off live cover to defeat Hillbilly Hanover and El Bloombito by 2-1/4 lengths on November 12. Vinny Ginsburg once again will drive the Kyle Spagnola trainee from post 6, but the competition shapes up to be markedly tougher for the 6-year-old gelded son of Henry Clay. Ashley’s Husband will square off against a stakes contender and a pair of winners in their most recent starts among the field of eight to do battle in the night’s 11th of 13 races.
Ron Burke trainee Matrix of Luck returns to action after a third-place finish in the $220,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Super Final and a runner-up effort behind More Dragon in a $35,700 Circle City event last month. The 3-year-old Rockin Image colt has been installed as the 3-1 second choice in his foray into unrestricted competition, and Joe Bongiorno will handle the driving duties from post 2.
Mr Hasani N and Bullet Bob enter the race directly off pillar-to-post wins in their most recent efforts. Mr Hasani N invades from Harrah’s Philadelphia after defeating similar company twice in his last three starts, most recently springing a 13-1 upset while lasting on the lead. Andy McCarthy once again drives the 38-time winner for Darran Cassar, and the pair will start from post 4 ast the 9-2 third choice. Bullet Bob (5-1, post 3) rises after a stout effort to stave off Moonwriter in 1:51.3 last week, and Scott Zeron will take over the driving duties on the 32-time winner for trainer Mark Harder.
A $17,500 “Dash for the G-Notes” for first-level conditioned pacers shares the Saturday spotlight, with a full field of ten lining up for the night’s seventh race after leading a quintet of preliminary events last week. Return to Sender N (9-2, Brett Miller, post 3), Card Shock (7-2, David Miller, post 4), Rancousy (8-1, Bongiorno, post 5), Stimulus Plan (8-1, Ginsburg, post 7), and Classic American N (10-1, Steve Smith, post 10) all seek to sweep the mini-series following their success in the preliminary round.
Fans on-track on Saturday can win a gift card to a major department store, with twenty-one individual gift cards totaling $1,500. Post time for the first of 13 dashes is slated for 7:15 p.m. Eastern.