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Series Contenders Step Out At The Big M


Published: January 2, 2010 11:15 pm ET

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Tidewater Tomahawk was one of several stakes eligibles tuning up for the start of next week's winter series action on Saturday night at Meadowlands Racetrack.

The son of Western Hanover came first up on the final turn and fired off a final quarter of :26.4 to win the $27,500 sixth race, a preferred event for four-year-old pacers, in 1:52. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Tidewater Tomahawk bested Handsome Harry (George Brennan) by 1-1/2 lengths on a blustery night and paid $15.40 to win.

Tidewater Tomahawk is eligible to the three-week Complex Series that begins Friday, January 8 and culminates in an estimated $72,500 final on January 23. Trained by Ron Burke, who sent out three winners during the 14-race program, Tidewater Tomahawk won eight of 20 starts in his three-year-old campaign.

Real Joke showed he is a serious contender for the Clyde Hirt Series with a 1:53.3 score in the second race. In his first start for trainer Julie Miller, Real Joke, with driver Andy Miller, rallied off cover and charged home in :26.2 for a 1-3/4-length tally over Majestic Jackpot (Brian Sears).

Both horses are eligible to the Clyde Hirt for pacers four years old and under, which also begins next Friday and finishes with an estimated $94,600 final on January 23. Previously campaigned by Frank Antonacci Jr., Real Joke finished first or second in six of 11 starts last season.

Blatantly Good appears well-poised for the Presidential Series after posting his third straight win in one of two $32,000 invitationals on the card. With Richie Silverman at the lines, Blatantly Good sat third on the outer tier and came home in :25.3 to best Mystery Chase (George Brennan) by three lengths in 1:51.4. Trained by Mark Kesmodel, the six-year-old son of Albert Albert improved his record to 28 wins in 88 career starts and surpassed $400,000 in U.S. earnings.

The Presidential Series for free all pacers begins next Saturday and features a $125,000 estimated final on January 23. Also set to begin next week are the Super Bowl Series for trotters on Wednesday and White Ruffles for four-year-old pacing mares on Thursday.

In the $30,000 Open Pace, Poker Hat survived a first over journey to prevail for teamster Yannick Gingras and trainer Jordan Rubin. The six-year-old son of Cams Card Shark got away sixth but began to improve his position en route to the half-mile mark. Poker Hat maintained his momentum and used a :26.4 closing quarter to propel himself into the winner’s circle. He stopped the clock in 1:52.2 winning by a length over the favoured stablemates Lookout Hanover (Tim Tetrick) and Blueridge Western (David Miller). Poker Hat won 10 of his 36 starts last season.

Meadowlands Racetrack will follow a Wednesday-Sunday racing schedule beginning January 6. Post times are 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 1:10 p.m. Sunday.

To view Saturday's results, click here.

(With files from NJSEA)

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