East Rutherford, NJ - Several more stakes stars of last season will make their return to the races on Saturday night at The Meadowlands. With the first of three Graduate Series pacing legs set for May 6, Boston Red Rocks, Check Six and Western Fame gather in the evening's eighth race to get their four-year-old seasons underway with an eye on that target.
Boston Red Rocks was the top freshman of the 2015 class and had a successful if not spectacular sophomore season, picking up over $400,000 and edging past $1 million in career earnings for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks. Trainer Steve Elliott put three qualifiers into him, the most recent a solid closing 1:50.1 win from off the pace for regular driver Tim Tetrick.
Check Six had a million dollar season last year, dominating the Pennsylvania program while winning eleven times including the PASS final and PA Classic and having a presence on the Grand Circuit for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Switala and Martin. He's had two preps going in for trainer Ron Burke with Yannick Gingras at the lines, his latest a 1:52.2 score with a 26 flat kicker.
Western Fame was virtually unraced at two but blossomed into a major stakes winner last summer for trainer Jimmy Takter. He won a heat of the Jug and a division of the Bluegrass, earning nearly a half million dollars for Brittany Farms with Mark Mac Donald doing the bulk of the driving.
They'll sort it out on Saturday while gaining form toward future Grand Circuit engagements
Saturday also marks the $50,000 final of the World Harness Handicapping Challenge and it is not to late to enter the competition.