East Rutherford, N.J. – A sustained three-wide push of the far turn propelled Truth and Liberty ($15.60) to victory in Thursday (December 22) evening’s featured $15,000 distaff pace at The Meadowlands, while Tony Ciuffetelli took top honors in the GSY Series final for amateur drivers on a night which proved to be a longshot player’s paradise.
Truth and Liberty settled in mid-division on the first turn, well behind That Woman Hanover (Jim Marohn, Jr.) and Ideal Nuggets (Joe Bongiorno), who would duel through a :54.4 first half mile. As That Woman Hanover labored on the far turn after repelling a first-over challenge from Ideal Nuggets, Andy Miller moved the 4-year-old Total Truth mare first-over with three-eighths to go, and was carried three-wide around Caviart Shelly (John Campbell) amid her push to an upper-stretch lead. Truth and Liberty edged clear in the final sixteenth, and held clear of the late-rallying UF Dragon’s Queen (Tyler Smith) by just over a length in 1:53.2 as the pace folded. Better Said (Vinny Ginsburg) just reached third over odds-on favorite Sheeza Shark N (Brett Miller).
Bob Lounsbury trains 14-time winner Truth and Liberty for owner Tracy Moss. For Miller, the featured win capped a natural hat trick.
In the $12,500 final of the fall-winter GSY Series for amateur drivers, Tony Ciuffetelli and Avivas Winner ($24.20) made every yard a winning one, successfully bottoming out the field for a 1:59.2 score over fast going. The 5-year-old Credit Winner gelding outsprinted Count Speed (Bob Hechkoff) into the first turn and immediately gained separation on the field through sectionals of :28.1, :56.2, and 1:26, at one point drawing clear to a 10-length lead. Despite Count Speed being unable to close any ground in upper stretch, Avivas Winner was fully extended off the far turn to hold sway of a sustained late charge from Ellen’s Streak (Dr. John Kokinos), who angled out to claim second off the far turn and closed ground steadily to ultimately reach within a length and a quarter. Dream Rocker (Hannah Miller) was a staying third, just holding off a mild stand-side rally from Feisty Love (David Glasser).
The GSY final was the first leg of the night’s 50¢ Pick 5, which attracted $212,276 in new money in great part to a $25,874 carryover. As four of five favorites in the sequence were vanquished—two of those defeated public choices being sent off at odds-on, the dividend ballooned to $17,908.35 for the successful 6/2/7/9/3 combination. Additionally, the fifth-race 20¢ Jackpot Super High Five was taken down for $4,676.44 after Carobbean Pacetry ($40.60) and Andy Miller successfully evaded odds-on choice Not Before Eight (John Campbell) to key the 3-2-9-8-6 combination. Miller came back immediately to team up with Sumatra ($4.00) in the sixth and round out an early Pick 4 sequence which returned $9,900.70 on a dollar ticket before continuing to capture the feature.
Total handle for the 12-race card was $2,190,429. A Jackpot High Five carryover of $8,321.98 will await players in Friday's closing race.
Racing continues at The Meadowlands with a 13-race card on Friday (December 23) evening; post time is 7:15 p.m. Eastern.