By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Ariana G gave notice Friday night at the Meadowlands that the road to the Hambletonian Oaks goes through her as she crushed seven overmatched foes in a division of the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies by 7¾ lengths in 1:52.2.
The Jimmy Takter trainee was more than prepared for her seasonal debut as driver Yannick Gingras put the daughter of Muscle Hill on the lead just after the quarter. Racing unpressured, the winner of 10-of-12 lifetime starts opened up an insurmountable edge after pocket-sitting Ice Attraction broke at the head of the stretch. She then sprinted home in :27.2, paying $2.10 as the 1-9 favorite for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Dream Baby Dream was second with Southwind Prius third.
“She was really good,” said Gingras. “I couldn’t be any happier with her. She was as good as I expected her to be. I’m crossing my fingers she stays healthy and let her talent do the rest.”
Glitzey Gal ($7.40 to win, 1:52.3 for the mile, David Miller driving, trainer Nifty Norman) and Colorful Jasmine ($2.40, 1:54.1, Corey Callahan, Thomas Cancelliere) were victorious in the other two NJSS filly divisions.
Ron Burke trainee What The Hill lowered his lifetime best by two-and-two-fifth seconds, impressively taking one of three NJSS divisions for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Driven by David Miller, the son of Muscle Hill stopped the clock in 1:52.2 to stay perfect in two seasonal starts. He returned $2.40 as the 1-5 public choice.
Every Way Out ($2.10, Dylan Davis) and Long Tom ($3.80, Marcus Melander) won the other sophomore colt and gelding divisions in identical clockings of 1:52.1. Both were driven by Tim Tetrick.
CHALK TALK: Seven favorites scored on the card, bringing the total over the last three programs to 18 winning chalks from 32 races (56%). … David Miller piloted four winners on the card. … All-source wagering totaled $2,475,077. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. with the Graduate for 4-year-old trotters, featuring Dayson and Broadway Donna.