Monti posts another driving triple
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (January 13, 2017) – Royally-bred Muscle Diamond justified his heavy favoritism to win the $18,000 trotting feature by two lengths on Friday night at the Meadowlands.
The entire complexion of the race changed before it began when morning line favorite Crosbys Clam Bake was scratched sick. That left Muscle Diamond to inherit the favorite’s role at 3-5 after futilely chasing Crosbys Clam Bake last week.
John Campbell put the 5-year-old son of Muscle Hill – Windylane Hanover, by Lindy Lane on the front end through easy fractions of 29.1 and 57 for the first half before hitting three-quarters in 1:26 and kicking home in 28.3 to complete the mile in 1:54.3. Opulent Yankee chased all the way to be second with Anaffairtoremember rounding out the trifecta.
“He was good enough tonight, but not as strong finishing as I had hoped he would be,” said Campbell.
Muscle Diamond finished second in the Breeders Crown at two and third in the Breeders Crown at three before being sidelined for 13 months.
“He has matured physically and has filled out,” said Campbell. “He is taller and stronger. He was always good mentally when he was 2 and 3. He’s being raced this winter so Brett can get a gauge on where to stake him this summer.”
Brett Bittle trains Muscle Diamond and shares ownership of the eight-time winner of $634,199 with Charles Keller III, Charles Keller IV, and Dan Bittle.
For the second Friday in a row, Meadowlands newcomer Drew Monti scored a driving triple including $65.20 winner It’s Chocolate Time in race 12.
Total handle on the 13-race program was $3,070,537, up one percent over the corresponding date last year when 14 races were conducted.
Marcello Spano and Nicolas Roussel each scored their first Meadowlands driving wins.
Live racing continues Saturday night with a 13-race program beginning at 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com.