East Rutherford, N.J. – Cheryl Costello’s homebred Icommandmyspirit ($4.60) lived up to favored billing in Thursday (December 15) evening’s $13,500 featured distaff pace at The Meadowlands, using a first-over push to put away pacesetter Bullville Maggie and hold clear of the chasing Nerida Franco N en route to a 1:53.2 score on a chilly December night.
Jim Marohn, Jr. floated the 6-year-old daughter of Dragon Again forward into a contested pace and settled in fourth as Bullville Maggie (Andy Miller) strode clear through a :27.3 first quarter mile. As Bullville Maggie completed a :56 half mile, Icommandmyspirit began first-over gains, steadily gaining to press the pace at the midpoint of the far turn before dueling into the lead just above the eighth pole. Icommandmyspirit had little trouble putting away Bullville Maggie, and would edge clear of the field while driven out. Nerida Franco N (Steve Smith) followed live cover into second, some 1-1/4 lengths in arrears. Better Said (Vinny Ginsburg) hooked out of traffic in upper stretch and rallied to third, while UF Dragon’s Queen (Tyler Smith) was able to escape the pocket in mid-stretch to save fourth.
John Bavosi trains Icommandmyspirit, now a 30-time winner.
Crosbys Clam Bake victorious in return effort
In the night’s sub-featured $13,000 trot, Crosbys Clam Bake ($5.80) proved victorious after a blast forward from post 9, vaulting clear from the pocket in upper stretch to post a 3-1/2 length win over Jacks to Open in 1:55.1 and giving Marohn a sweep of the night’s feature events. The 6-year-old Kadabra gelding worked to clear two others through the first five-sixteenths of the mile, but would yield to the pocket behind Promise Delivered (John Campbell) before re-emerging up the pegs at the top of the stretch. Crosbys Clam Bake burst through to take the lead again in the last eighth, drawing off at will over the first-over Jacks to Open (Marcus Miller) and the re-emerging Flying Isa N (Andy Miller).
Andy Federico trains Crosbys Clam Bake for the partnership of Randy Bendis, Jack Piatt, II, and Tom Pollack.
A 13-race card is on tap for Friday, with a pair of $18,000 top-level events sharing center stage. Post time is 7:15 p.m. Eastern.