East Rutherford, N.J. -- After patiently tracking an exacting pace, odds-on favorite Tessa Seelster ($3.00) was able to chase down pocket rival Inittowinafortune to capture Friday's (November 18) featured $17,500 top-level distaff pace at The Meadowlands.
Tessa Seelster was anxious to move forward when the gates folded in, but Yannick Gingras was able to wrangle the 4-year-old daughter of Shadow Play into a tracking spot behind pacesetter Nat a Virgin (David Miller) and the pocket-sitting Inittowinafortune (Corey Callahan) through early splits of :26.3 and :53.4. With five-sixteenths to go, Tessa Seelster angled second-over behind Inittowinafortune, who powered clear of a taxed Nat a Virgin approaching head-stretch. While Inittowinafortune edged away by nearly four lengths in upper stretch, she too began to tire in the final sixteenth, just nosed out in the last yards of a 1:50 mile by Tessa Seelster. Icommandmyspirit (Jim Marohn, Jr.) rallied belatedly to save third, 2-3/4 lengths in arrears of the top pair.
Ron Burke trains Tessa Seelster for the Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and Jonathan Newman.
Always B Miki retired in trackside ceremony
World champion Always B Miki made one final visit to the Big M winner's enclosure for a special retirement ceremony after he capped his career with a resounding win in the $400,000 TVG Free-For-All Pace last weekend. The fastest Standardbred to ever set foot on a racetrack concluded his career with 30 wins in 53 career starts, over $2.7 million in earnings, and a career mark of 1:46 taken at the Red Mile in October. Always B Miki will transition from the Jimmy Takter stable to assume stud duty at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania.
Live racing returns to The Meadowlands with an 11-race card slated for Saturday (November 19) evening, and a last-race Jackpot Super Hi-5 carryover of $38,181.74. Post time is 7:15 p.m. Eastern.