East Rutherford, NJ - The holiday weekend at The Meadowlands offers a look into racing's future with two-year-old stakes on Friday, July 1 then celebrates America's Independence on Saturday with a special 6:30 p.m. post time and a grand fireworks display immediately following the races.
The New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for two-year-olds gets underway on Friday with six divisions of Garden State bred trotting and pacing hopefuls.
It's been said that it takes a Muscle Hill to beat a Muscle Hill. That claim becomes fact in the four divisions of freshman trots as all of the twenty five participants are the progeny of that top trotting sire.
A dozen colts were split into two $20,000 divisions carded as races three and four.
The $280,000 Lexington sale purchase Mountain Of Love has had a pair of Meadowlands baby races in preparation for his pari-mutuel debut in the third race. He's trotted in the 1:59 range with solid final fractions in each and leaves from post position four with driver Scott Zeron. Tony Alagna conditions the colt for his own interests as Alagna Racing with partners Crawford Racing, Mystical Marker Farms and In The Gym Partners.
The second division of colts finds Fly On also situated in post four. He has been successful in both of his preps, most recently streaking home in 27.3 for driver Andy Miller to finish out a 1:59.4 mile. Fly On was a $55,000 Lexington purchase by trainer Julie Miller on behalf of the Andy Miller Stable, Arden Homestead Stable and GTY Stable.
Trotting fillies open the Friday card with a field of six chasing the winner's share of the $20,000 purse. Checkmate Time (post four) has been very impressive in her morning trials, trotting sub 28 final quarters in each resulting in a pair of closing seconds before winning her most recent effort in 1:59.2. She is a homebred racing for the interests of Roy Dobbins, is trained by Dennis Laterza and Scott Zeron has the call on her as well.
Seven precocious trotting fillies will contest division two of the stake (race six). Ariana G has won both of her schooling races, trotting home in 27 and change in each the latest a 1:58.2 tally out of the pocket for Yannick Gingras. She's a Marvin Katz & Al Libfeld homebred trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter.
The pacing fillies and colts will race for a purse of $25,000 being just a single division for each. If I Can Dream boasts a like distinction to Muscle Hill on this gait as all of the pacers are by that Breeders Crown winning sire.
The colts number seven in race two with Aaron Lambert going old school as the owner, trainer and driver on his $12,000 Harrisburg bargain colt Every Way Out. He was an easy 1:59.2 winner at Gaitway Farms in his first outing, followed up by a useful fourth in preparation for Friday's stake.
Ten of the fairer sex throw down in race ten where trainer Erv Miller and Ron Michelon's homebred Livinginthedream has the most impressive credentials but must overcome the far outside post ten.
She's paced home hard in each of her three prior efforts and has the talent, it's left to driver Marcus Miller to fashion the winning trip.
Last year's Cane Pace champ Dealt A Winner makes his seasonal debut on Saturday, facing a field of high-end condition types in the sixth race.
Saturday's early post time will result in the live races being concluded by around 10:15 p.m. with the Ben Franklin and Earl Beal finals shown on the giant infield screen before the fireworks begin at 10:30.
With Saturday's earlier-than-normal post time, the track’s Pick Five guarantee will not be offered on the sequence which covers Races 1 – 5. In addition, the Late Pick Four wager’s guarantee will be $40,000. The Late Pick Four covers Races 7 – 10. The Early Pick Four (Races 3 – 6) will continue to offer a $25,000 guaranteed pool. These changes will only be in effect on Saturday, July 2.