Stars Sharpen In Meadowlands Qualifiers

Heading to the gate at The Meadowlands

The qualifying session on Saturday (Nov. 19) at The Meadowlands had its fair share of star power with talented trotters and pacers tightening for late season stakes events.

Freshman trotting colt Kilmister started the season with five straight scores, including a strong 1:53.3 performance in the final of the Peter Haughton Memorial. He's gone winless in his last four but finished a strong third in the 2022 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Mohawk Park last month.

The connections of Kilmister accepted a bye to next week's Valley Victory final, and they had to like what they saw during the Saturday qualifier. Sitting the pocket with driver Brian Sears behind stablemate and Goldsmith Maid starter Secret Volo  (Mattias Melander) through fractions of :28, :58 and 1:27, Kilmister closed in :28.3 to trip the timer in 1:55.4. Secret Volo was 2-3/4 lengths back in second.

A son of Chapter Seven - Treviso, Kilmister is trained by Marcus Melander for owner Courant Inc. of Delray Beach, Fl. From nine seasonal starts, Kilmister sports a 5-0-2 summary with $389,355 earned.

Lovedbythemasses is enjoying the best season of his career as a five-year-old, and the Ontario Sires Stakes graduate will look to add to his totals in next week's TVG Free-For-All against the continent's top older trotters. He tuned up for next week's TVG tilt by teaming with Todd McCarthy for a wire-to-wire 1:53.2 tally, holding off fellow TVG prepper Altanta (Yannick Gingras) by a neck. 

A seven-time winner this season with $393,970 in earnings, Lovedbythemasses (Muscle Mass - Incredibility) is trained by Jeff Cullipher, who co-owns with Pollack Racing LLC of Venetia, Pa.

Abuckabett Hanover made headlines with his recent  $534,000 price tag at auction, and he looks ready to rumble for his new connections -- William Pollock, Bruce Areman and trainer Andrew Harris' A Harris Racing LLC. Despite a 1-1-1 summary from 13 seasonal starts, Abuckabett Hanover has accrued $206,280 in seasonal earnings while often giving futile pursuit to world record holder Bulldog Hanover. But the son of Betting Line looks to factor in next week's TVG Free-For-All Pace after winning his qualifier on the engine in 1:50.4 and home in :26.1.

In three seasons, Abuckabett Hanover has posted a 12-4-7 from 45 starts with $1,019,822 in earnings. This season, he's paced three miles with final quarters of :25 or faster with three miles clocked in 1:47 or better.

A pair of three-year-old fillies with invites to the TVG Open Mare Pace concluded the qualifying session with victories. 2022 Breeders Crown champion Treacherous Dragon showed she's ready to step up by knocking off a strong group of older pacing mares that included Test Of Faith and Breeders Crown winner Grace Hill. With Scott Zeron at the controls, Treacherous Dragon sat the pocket for the first three quarters and then zipped home in :25.3 to best Test Of Faith (David Miller) by a neck with the mile timed in 1:52. Grace Hill (Dexter Dunn) was a half-length back in third.

Nancy Takter trains Treacherous Dragon (Captaintreacherous - My Little Dragon) for Hot Lead Farm LLC of New Jersey. She comes into the TVG off a three-race win streak that includes the Jugette and Breeders Crown, a win that lifted her career totals to 13-4-4 in 24 starts with $1,164,828 bankrolled.

Niki Hill will look to end that three-race win streak of her divisional rival, and her form is just as sharp. Regular driver Dexter Dunn sat the 2022 Matron winner in fourth for the majority of the mile, unleashed her late with a :27.3 final quarter and she won for fun in 1:51.1.

While injury kept her sidelined for the majority of her sophomore season, Niki Hill has returned with the same consistency she showed during her award-winning rookie season for trainer Chris Ryder and owner Tom Hill. In 16 career starts, the daughter of Always B Miki - Road Bet sports a summary of 12-3-0 with nearly $1.4 million in earnings.

Charted results can be viewed at the following link: Results - Meadowlands Racetrack (Qualifiers).

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