By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – What The Hill reinforced his standing as a big-time Hambletonian contender, reporting home a dominant winner as the New Jersey Sire Stakes took center stage with four second-leg events Friday night at the Meadowlands.
The son of 2009 Hambo champ Muscle Hill won his NJSS dash for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot with ease to stay unbeaten in three starts this year. The Ron Burke trainee exploded clear of the field at the five-eighths and went on to a 4¾-length win in 1:53. King On The Hill was second with New Jersey Viking third. As the 1-9 public choice, he returned $2.20 to win.
“He was a little bit rambunctious,” said Burke. “He took off (at the five-eighths) on his own. He needs to do a little bit less of that. He needs to relax a little bit more. We’re going to open his bridle up and (driver) David (Miller) will make more of a conscious effort (to calm him down).”
Burke is upbeat about what he is seeing with the Hambletonian a little more than two months away. “This horse, he seems to get better and better every time he gets behind the gate.”
In other NJSS action, Every Way Out ($2.10 to win) scored in the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace by 7¾ lengths in 1:52.3 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Dylan Davis; Colorful Jasmine ($2.60) took the 3-year-old filly pace by 3 lengths in 1:52.3 for Corey Callahan and Thomas Cancelliere while Ice Attraction ($17.20) was the only non-favorite to win a NJSS event on the card as she scored by 1½ lengths in 1:54.2 in the 3-year-old filly trot for Andrew McCarthy and Ake Svanstedt.
A LITTLE MORE: David Miller, Callahan and Scott Zeron all had driving doubles on the program. … All-source wagering totaled $2,223,336. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.