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Obrigado Repeats, Fusco Series Begins

Published: January 8, 2021 5:11 pm ET

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Even in a more advanced age, Obrigado's class continues to shine through. He won the $12,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at Freehold Raceway for the second week in a row on Friday (Jan. 8).

Despite the assignment of the outside post position seven, bettors pounded Obrigado down to 1-5 favouritism. Driver Dan Dubé had no problem getting him to the lead, clearing to the front just before the opening quarter. He set comfortable early fractions, going the opening quarter in :28.2 and the half in :58.2.

As they moved towards three-quarters, the moves of his rivals began to fall flat, and Obrigado continued to cruise on the lead. Pocket-sitting Dot Dot Dot Dash made a move at the top of the stretch, but Obrigado held her off and cruised under the line three lengths in front in 1:56.3.

Obrigado improved to two-for-two in 2021 and maintained his perfect career record at Freehold. He has won 54 times from 119 starts and has earned over $1.9 million in his career. Winning trainer Paul Kelley co-owns the 11-year-old Boy Band gelding with SRF Stables and Linwood Higgins.

Friday's Freehold card also saw the beginning of the Vinny Fusco Jr. Memorial Pacing Series, for New Jersey-sired, owned or foaled fillies and mares. The lower division, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse rating between 68.00 and 71.50, was conducted as one race with eight entries. The upper division, for horses with a TrackMaster rating between 71.50 and 75.00, was split into two races with seven starters apiece.

First-round winners were Tall Poppy N, for trainer Kelvin Harrison; Always B Lucy, trained by Kelly Hastings; and Southwind Tsunami, for trainer Mark Capone.

Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday (Jan. 9), with a 13-race card beginning at 12:30 p.m. and a $2,878 carryover in the early Pick-4.

(Freehold Raceway)

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