The Meadowlands - The trail to the August 5 Hambletonian continues on Saturday with the Arthur Tompkins Memorial Grand Circuit stakes for sophomore square-gaiters at The Meadowlands.
Ladies first in race four where a field of seven shall go forth in quest of the big share of the $49,870 purse. Overdraft Volo (PP #7) is a logical choice and the 2-1 morning line favorite. The Yankee Glide filly has been a model of consistency for the husband and wife team of Julie (trainer) and Andy (driver) Miller with six wins among a dozen board placings over her fourteen start career.
This season Overdraft Volo is near the top of her class, having won three of four starts including her division of last week's Del Miller Memorial, an important Hambletonian Oaks prep. Owners Pinske Stable and Kentuckiana Farms would like to have a barn full just like her, a $50,000 yearling with career earnings of $268,737 and a bright future.
Ten colts will battle for $59,370 in the seventh race with an eye on the $1 million Hambletonian, now a mere fortnight hence. With the division leaders taking a week off, we are left with a really competitive group of horses who are on the bubble for the Hambo. Two talented sons of Andover Hall, Dover Dan and Perfect Spirit, are such colts.
Dover Dan is a star on the PA Sires Stakes circuit whose resume includes a Grand Circuit win last fall at The Red Mile and a few tries against the best this season with limited success. He'll have to turn it up a notch for trainer John Butenschoen to get to the promised land. Vic Kirby will drive Dover Dan (PP #4) for the first time on Saturday for owners Wiswall, Goehlen and Shick.
Perfect Spirit has matured into a nice horse for Ake Svanstedt with a surprise win in the Earl Beal Memorial eliminations and a solid fourth in the final against the top colts. He's had a few weeks freshening and has a good starting point, leaving from post three for Svanstedt in the Tompkins. Lennart Agren's SRF Stable owns Perfect Spirit.
Aside from the stakes there are Open races for both three-year-old colts and fillies on the card where connections are hoping to separate the prospects from the suspects.
Corntastic weekend continues while the Roosevelt Raceway Reunion brings back the stars of yesteryear to entertain fans who remember New York racing of a generation ago. The late Herve Filion will also be memorialized on Saturday.
Post time is 7:15 p.m.