East Rutherford, NJ – Saturday’s Meadowlands baby races began at 9 a.m. on a cloudy, windless morning with temperatures in the mid 60’s. It would turn out to be a long, strange 20 race trip with odd, gloomy weather conditions turning the track wet for the last third and a warm up accident throwing Ray Schnittker out of the bike, tough he walked off and later drove.
On the track it was Hambletonian winter book favorite Walner returning after a six week absence from the track. He and driver Tim Tetrick would find sloppy conditions and just two opponents for his 19th race qualifier but no details would hinder today’s performance. Basically by himself the entire mile, Walner cruised through fraction of 28.3, 57, and 1:24.4 before trotting home in 26.3 for a 1:51.2 win with Tetrick a statue in the bike. He could not have looked better.
So far as the baby races, it was Erv Miller day as he and son Marcus brought in a powerful string of two-year-olds to try the Meadowlands mile and left with smiling faces, winning five races on the day.
Trotting filly Sevenbuyeleven opened the day’s races with an impressive come from behind 1:58.3 win for Tim Tetrick. Third through the 1:01 half and 1:30.2 three quarter, Sevenbuyeleven advanced when Foxy Fantasy (Ake Svanstedt) broke in the pocket then tracked down Caviart Cady (Marcus Johansson) who had led from the start and was second best. Linda Toscano trains the winner for Kenny Jacobs who paid $50,000 for her at Harrisburg. Foxy Fantasy recovered to be third.
Manchego (Yannick Gingras) won her second qualifier for the Jimmy Takter stable, leading all the way in 1:57.4 with a 27.2 end. She’s been impressive in both starts and held sway here over Seviyorum’s (Andy Miller) late bid and Tiffany’s Flash (Tetrick). Manchego was a $120,000 Lexington purchase by Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman.
Ake Svanstedt won the third race with Knutsson Trotting’s Fury Road. Raced mid-pack through the 1:02 half. Fury Road tracked down Sound Check (Julie Miller) in deep stretch for the 1:59.3 / 28 record. She was a $60,000 Harrisburg buy.
Marcus Miller drove Supergirl Riley to a 2:00 win in the fourth. The pair raced in third as first Southwind Cookie (Svanstedt) then Holy Bones (Tetrick) set moderate fractions, then trotted by willingly through the 28.2 final stanza to get up over Holy Bones. It was the first winner of the day for trainer Erv Miller for the interests of Paymaq Racing, George Golemes and Harvey Eisman who paid $32,000 for her in Lexington last fall.
Vivacious Allie was another Svanstedt winner, emerging from the pocket to take over in the stretch then holding off the late rush of Special Hill (Takter) in 200:3 / 29. The Muscle Hill filly was a $120,000 Lexington buy for Hans Enggren.
Trotting colts came out after a break and Wolfgang, a sharp looking son of first crop sire My MVP took the sixth race for trainer / driver Jimmy Takter in 1:57.4. Max’s Beast (Andy Miller) cut the mile through the 1:31 three quarters when Takter tipped Wolfgang to the outside and went by to an open length win. Brothers In Arms (Gingras) trotted into second and Six Pack (Sarah Svanstedt) closed up the inside to be third. Brixton Medical, Goran Falk, Bud Hatfield and breeder Fair Island Farm share ownership of the winner a $60,000 Lexington yearling.
The $120,000 Lexington Select Sale graduate Bautista (Gingras) won for the second time, trotting home in sub 28 seconds on the end of a pocket trip to finish the 1:59.2 mile. The Muscle Hill colt hails from the Takter barn for owners Brixton Medical, RAW Equine, Herb Liverman and Joe Sbrocco. Haveitalltogether (A. Miller) rallied for second and For A Dreamer (Dave Miller) was third.
You Know You Do was one of the highest priced yearlings sold at auction last fall, fetching a bid of $350,000 from owner Howard Taylor, Order By Stable, Bud Hatfield, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld who entrusted him to Jimmy Takter to train and the results to this point indicate that it was money well spent. The Muscle Hill colt won for the second time, this in 1:58.3 off a 1:02 half under confident Takter handling. Toast Of Lindy (A. Miller)
made late gains to be second with Meadowbranch Ricky (A. Svanstadt) third.
Farsetti Hanover (Marcus Miller) was the second winner from Erv Miller’s barn this morning, setting all the fractions then sprinting home in 27.1 on the end of a 2:00.3 mile over Levitation (Scott Zeron) and Final Dream (Svanstedt). The winner is a big, handsome Donato Hanover colt that cost Erv, GT Golemes and DM Prushnok a mere $27,000 at Harrisburg.
Pacing fillies began in race ten and first crop sire Betterthancheddar had a winner in the sharp looking All On Top Hanover (Marcus Miller) who was winning for the second time in as many starts for trainer Erv Miller. She set slow numbers then took right off when asked through a 26.1 final quarter that included a slight ripple mid-stretch when changing gears on the end of the 1:56.4 mile. Better Than Happy (A. Miller) and Sand Artist (Tetrick) followed the winner around the track to be second and third respectively. Erv Miller Stable, Ron Michelon and GT Golemes got their $14,000 bargain at the Goshen yearling sale.
Michelle’s Jazz (George Dennis) was a 1:57.2 winner benefitting from a ground saving trip to skim the cones late and just nip Speedo Miss (Joe Bongiorno) with Ideal Talker (A. McCarthy). She was a $15,000 Lexington buy for George and Tina Dennis Racing and is trained by Joe Columbo.
Rainbow Room (Dave Miller) wowed the crowd again this morning turning on the jets for a 26.4 end to another 1:55.2 mile under no urging. The royally bred Somebeachsomewhere filly from Rainbow Blue has done everything with ease thus far for trainer Joe Holloway and owners Crawford Farms, Val D’Or Farms and Ted Gewertz. Rainbow Room was a $100,000 Lexington yearling purchase. KJ’s Beckah (Tetrick) was a good second and Eden (Brett Miller) third.
Kissin In The Sand (Gingras) was a 1:54.4 winner flashing good late speed closing from third in the 27.3 final quarter to just get up over Newsday (D. Miller) and With Wings (Joe Bongiorno). The winner is trained by Nancy Johansson for Marvin Katz and Bud Hatfield Stable who paid $130,000 at Harrisburg for the filly.
The fourteenth race had some talent to flash and Nutcracker Sweet (Tetrick) lived up to his pedigree and price as the $150,000 Harrisburg yearling from the dam of two Breeders Crown winners in Sweet Lou and Bettor Sweet was a 1:55 winner. Third through early fractions, Nutcracker Sweet fanned off the cover of Born To Be Bad (A. Miller) then outdueled that one to the wire through a 26.2 final quarter. Jimmy Takter trains the Bettor’s Delight colt for Howard Taylor and Order By Stable.
As consistent rains turned the race track into a somewhat sticky surface, Karpathian Kid (Marcus Miller) was a 1:55.2 winner gaining widest of all through the last quarter in 27 flat to photo out Prophet Blue Chip (A. Miller) and Macadoodledoo (Gingras) on the wire. The homebred colt from top race mare Vysoke Tatry is owned by breeders David & Don Prushnok along with DJ Miller and LM Means and was the fourth winner of the day for trainer Erv Miller.
The Erv Miller show continued with Suddenly Sam winning the 16th race for Marcus, coming from well off the pace to get up in the shadow of the wire through the 27.2 final quarter of the 1:56 mile. JK Fielding (Gingras) was second and the mile cutter Key Advisor held for third. Ron Michelon. David Miller and Daniel Plouffe paid $115,000 for Suddenly Sam at Harrisburg last fall.
The top priced pacing colt sold last fall, Pro Beach who brought $450,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale was a very impressive 1:55.1 winner for Yannick Gingras. He sat a nice trip just off the speed through the 1:28.4 three quarters then sailed up the inside through the length of the stretch to just get by the gritty Hayden Hanover (Andy Miller) who had set those fractions. Paprike Blue Chip (Corey Callahan) was third. Brixton Medical, Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables own the Takter trainee.
Joe Holloway has some real prospects this season and the veteran trainer sent out the pacing colt Closing Statement (Tetrick) to win impressively in 1:54.2 with a 26.3 kicker on a track that by now had turned sloppy. Closing Statement lead all the way and repelled the late bid of Decoy (Gingras) to score. Val D’Or Farms, Rojan Stable and Ted Gewertz are the owners of the $125,000 Harrisburg purchase.
Live racing resumes tonight at 7:15 p.m. with the simulcast of the North America Cup card a highlight of the evening.