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Escort Series Produces Wild Results

Published: January 18, 2015 12:30 am ET

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The Escort Series resumed on Saturday at The Meadowlands, split into two divisions.

The first division was contested at one mile and one-eighth due to the 11-horse field with one trailer.

Longshot Rockstar Stride showed unusual speed and made the lead through a :26.2 opening quarter before yielding to JK Patriot, who made a brush early on the backstretch. Heavy favourite and round one winner Major Uptrend was right on that rival's back and moved three-wide to the half-mile pole, but broke stride nearing the far turn, causing several horses to scatter throughout the field.

JK Patriot settled into a rhythm through a :54.4 half-mile and rolled through the far turn, taking the lead past the three-quarter mark of the race.

Major Uptrend re-rallied following the miscue and closed down the center of the racetrack, but couldn't get to JK Patriot, who paced powerfully through the mile in 1:50.4 and completed the mile and one-eighth in 2:04.2. Major Uptrend finished second, but was disqualified and placed last in the field of 11, moving Company Man to second with Blacktree third.

Dave Miller drove the winner for trainer Linda Toscano and owners Matthew Bencic and Sam Schillaci.

The second division looked like a showdown between round one winner What I Believe and Khan Blue Chip on paper and it played out that way on the racetrack. In fact, a photo finish could not decide the winner as both horses got their nose on the wire simultaneously resulting in a dead heat.

What I Believe cut the mile, establishing a :27.4, :57.1 and 1:26 tempo for the mile event, with Khan Blue Chip right on his back throughout.

Brick Bazooka flipped out three-wide for the stretch drive and threatened the two favourites, but Khan Blue Chip promptly split horses decisively charging after What I Believe, who was reaching for the wire, which they both hit together. Brick Bazooka was third.

What I Believe was driven by Yannick Gingras for Ron Burke, Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, while Khan Blue Chip was driven by Tim Tetrick for Toscano and owners William and Jack Heinz.

Scratched down to a field of five, the $27,500 Free For All Pace turned into a showdown between the 3-5 favourite Wake Up Peter and the recent back-to-back winner at the top level, Doctor Butch.

The two favourites got away fourth and fifth, while the chestnut and recent private purchase, Dapper Dude, dictated the terms early, through fractions of :26.4, :56.2 and 1:24.3.

Turning for home, Dapper Dude was bracing for the challenge of Wake Up Peter, who rolled up first over and paced by the once-leader, while out-sprinting Doctor Butch, who had been riding his cover throughout. Wake Up Peter tripped the timer in 1:51, pacing a powerful final quarter in :26.1 for Brett Miller.

The winner is trained by Larry Remmen for owner Bradley Grant of Milton, Ontario.

The fifth race 20-cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 went unclaimed. In fact, there were no winning tickets, resulting in a $34,076.55 carryover into Thursday's program.

The last race 20-cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 paid out to multiple winning tickets and will feature a carryover into the Thursday program of $52,684.69. Post time for the Thursday card is 7:15 p.m.

(With files from Meadowlands Racetrack)


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