East Rutherford, NJ – Saturday’s Meadowlands baby races began at 10 a.m. on a cloudy morning with slight stretch headwinds and temperatures in the low 70’s.
Today’s trotting races were the Yannick Gingras show as the top Grand Circuit's driver swept all six, hooking up with trainer Jimmy Takter on five of those.
Trotting fillies opened the day with a nice looking Chapter Seven filly named Sevenbuyeleven winning gate to wire in 1:58 with a 28 final quarter for Gingras. Linda Toscano trains the $50,000 Harrisburg but for owner Kenny Jacobs. Natalie Hanover (Ake Svanstedt) was second and Dab Hanover ( Jimmy Takter / Mattias Melander) third.
Yannick came right back to win race two for Takter with Bella Glos, a Cantab Hall filly that cost Black Horse Racing $95,000 at Harrisburg last fall. She led at every call and finished well in hand through a 28 flat end to her 1:57.2 mile. A pair of fillies from the Svanstedt barn followed, Vivacious Allie (Svanstedt) second and Lucky Ava third.
Gingras' reign with the fairer sex continued in race three with another Takter trainee. Air Quote Hanover cut the 1:57.4 mile, sprinting home in 27.4 under her own power. This one is a daughter of Donato Hanover the was a $70,000 Harrisburg purchase for Order By Stables last fall. Svanstedt was again second best, this time with What A Knockout.
The $350,000 Lexington purchase by Lennart Agrin’s SRF Stable, Go To Hill (pictured) was an impressive winner for the Gingras/Takter combo with a front end 1:59.1 win, final quarter in 29 seconds. The Muscle Hill colt opened a considerable lead mid-stretch then coasted in on his own. Spee Club closed up nicely as Svanstedt’s futile pursuit of Takter ran to three in a row.
Hill Street continued the mastery for Takter and Gingras with a 2:00.4 win. Yannick evidenced why he is in such demand with the youngsters as the aggressive son of Muscle Hill wanted to go forward right from the start. Gingras had other ideas and wrangled him into fourth early through the slow 31.2 quarter. Things did not speed up much down the backside despite Svanstedt moving his $200,000 colt Sonofamillionaire to the top in 1:02.2 as Yannick edged his charge out of fourth to settle in second behind that one. That was the order through the 1:32.3 six panels where Gingras fanned him off the leader's back and Hill Street trotted on by through a 28.1 last quarter to get the win. Ray Schnittker closed up nicely with his Chasin’ Dreams to lose in a photo while Ake had to settle for third this time. The partnership of Brixton Medical, Fielding, Liverman and Hatfield own the $180,000 Lexington buy.
The final piece of the trotting baby sweep for Gingras was with Takter’s Andover Hall colt Storming Mist. The $120,000 Lexington purchase sat a comfortable pocket behind Fourth Dimension (Marcus Melander) through easy fractions and went by willingly through a 28.1 end to the 1:59.3 mile to hold off the closing Six Pack (Svanstedt). Brixton Medical, Fielding, Liverman and RAW Equine share ownership of Storming Mist.
There were only two races for pacers, fillies first and Hurrikane Shorty was the winner in 1:56.3 for Jimmy Marohn, Jr. The pair had the early lead, released eventual second place finisher Dance Blue (Gingras) through the middle fractions then brushed by in the stretch through a 27.2 final quarter. John McDermott, Jr trains the $8,000 Goshen Sale Art Major filly for Jonathan Klee, Pegasis Investments and GR Vierno.
JK Musicman took the colt pace from just off the pace in 1:56 / 27.1. Damion Diesel Hahn (Schnittker) cut the fractions and held up ‘til mid-stretch then gave way first to the winner then Major Sugar Rush snuck by very late for the place. JK Musicman is a homebred American Ideal trained by Nancy Johansson for the 3 Brothers Stables.
Today’s a big day at The Meadowlands with the Belmont Stakes up and both BeerFest and the hotly anticipated Hamburger Cook Off both on the bill tonight. Post time is 7:15 p.m.