East Rutherford, NJ - Friday, May 19 marks the start of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) with a total of six $20,000 divisions for sophomore trotters and pacers.
Trotting fillies open the card with Glitzy Gal the slight 2/1 choice in a competitive field of seven. She accomplished little last season in a handful of starts but has returned stronger and faster, winning in 1:56 in her most recent outing for trainer Nifty Norman. Dave Miller has the drive in Friday's race for owners David McDuffee, Mel Hartman and Little E, LLC.
Last year's NJSS final and Dan Patch award winner Ariana G banked nearly three-quarters of a million dollars while winning all the majors for the Jimmy Takter barn. She's had a pair of qualifiers to prepare for her 2017 debut as the heavy favorite in the second division (race five). Yannick Gingras drives the homebred lass for Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.
The colts will battle it out in races three and eight, with Deacon Tony given the 9/5 edge in the first and considerably easier split. He's off to a good start on the campaign with a pair of wins thus far for trainer Ron Burke and owners Our Horse Cents, Deo Volente, TLP Stable and Silva Burroughs Stable. Gingras has the drive on Deacon Tony.
The second division contains the defending NJSS champ and Peter Haughton final winner in What The Hill. The Burke trainee was a 1:55.3 winner in his first start at age three for owners Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents, J&T Silva Stable and Deo Volente. Dave Miller is the driver.
Last year's top New Jersey freshman pacer Every Way Out is the prohibitive choice in the single division of the colt pace. He makes his seasonal debut on Friday for owners Taylor, Basen, Gold and Lazzaro. Dylan Davis is the trainer and Tim Tetrick the driver for Every Way Out.
Designated Drinker won the 2016 NJSS filly pace final for owner (in partnership with Triple C Stable), trainer and driver Chris Lems last year but is a 10/1 outsider in race ten.
The favorite's role falls to John Cancelliere's homebred Colorful Jasmine. She got a late start to her freshman campaign and missed last year's NJSS but has quickly caught up to the field and flashed god speed in her 2017 debut with an easy 1:54.1 score at Harrah's. Tom Cancelliere trains and Corey Callahan will drive Colorful Jasmine.
The menu in Pink features a Portuguese theme this Friday for $29.95.
Saturday is Preakness Day, the middle jewel of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown. The gates open at 9:30 a.m.
Friday's post time is 7:15 p.m.