East Rutherford, N.J. – Fresh off their Breeders Crown triumphs last week, Walner ($2.10) and Someomensomewhere ($2.80) came back to capture their Kindergarten Classic series finals with flair on Saturday (November 5) evening at The Meadowlands.
In the $200,600 Kindergarten final for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings (race 2), the impressive Walner used the first seven-sixteenths of the mile to work clear, striding clear of Limerence (Åke Svanstedt) just before completing a :55.4 half mile. The son of Chapter Seven and Random Destiny would go on to parry a first-over challenge from his stablemate Eastern Promise (John Campbell) on the far turn before accelerating away from the field at Tim Tetrick’s first asking. Walner amassed seven lengths of clearance over Simply Volo (Corey Callahan), who rallied off third-over cover to take second. Fly On (Andy Miller) hooked wide from around a wall of horses to save third.
Walner’s 1:53.2 mile earned him a seventh career win in eight starts for owner Kenneth Jacobs and trainer Linda Toscano.
Someomensomewhere narrowly prevailed in the $149,100 Kindergarten final for 2-year-old pacing fillies (race 8), just reaching up to collar Caviart Ally at the end of a 1:51.2 mile. Marcus Miller settled the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere and Omen Hanover just off the top trio on the first turn before angling out to stalk the live cover of Caviart Ally (Andy McCarthy) through the far turn. As Cavairt Ally wore down pacesetter Gurl Band K (Joe Bongiorno), Someomensomewhere mounted her late bid after losing cover, chasing down the filly she stalked through the far turn for the narrow win. No Chaser (Andy Miller) checked in third, some 5-3/4 lengths detached.
Erv Miller trains 4-time winner Someomensomewhere for the Nick Surick Stable and Howard Schneidler’s KDM Stables.
The $147,200 Kindergarten final for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings (race 4) wasn’t lacking for the dramatic, as not only did a scant head separate the top four finishers, but the favored pair of Air Strike and Chip Walther finished in a dead heat for the win in 1:52.1. Air Strike (David Miller), the Joe Holloway-trained Indiana star, used a middle move to take charge from Erv Miller trainee Chip Walther (Marcus Miller) through a :55.4 half mile before working to withstand first-over pressure from Mac’s Jackpot (Tim Tetrick) through the late stages of the race. But while Air Strike was able to keep Mac’s Jackpot at bay, Chip Walther found room to hook three-wide at the eighth pole and surge late for a share of the win. Deo de Janiero (Scott Zero) mounted late gains up the pegs for third, missing the joint winners by a mere nose.
Val D’Or Farms and Ted Gewertz own Air Strike, while the partnership of the Erv Miller Stable, Paymaq Racing, the Nick Surick Stable, and Louis Willinger share ownership of Chip Walther.
While favorites lived up to their billing in three of the Kindergarten events, Overdraft Volo ($34.80) sprung a major upset in the $190,200 2-year-old filly trot. As favorites Feed Your Head (Yannick Gingras) and Hillarmbro (Trond Smedshammer) dueled on approach to the far turn, David Miller angled the daughter of Yankee Glide and Bank of Newport fourth-over. Overdraft Volo circled three-wide off the far turn and took aim on the top pair, chasing them down and striking the front a sixteenth from home before accelerating away to a 1:55 victory by 1-1/4 lengths. Hillarmbro and Feed Your Head finished second and third respectively.
Julie Miller trains Overdraft Volo for the Pinske Stables and the Kentuckiana Racing Stable.
In a non-wagering Racing Under Saddle event, presented by Back on Track and Knutsson trotting, Richard Gutnick’s Modest Prince and Helene Gregory held a clear lead over five others en route to a decisive 1:56.3 victory. Linda Toscano trains the 6-year-old RC Royalty gelding.
Total handle for the 13-race card was $2,425,766.
Live racing returns to The Meadowlands on Friday (November 11) evening; post time is slated for 7:15 p.m. EST.