Bongiorno Scores A Kindergarten Series Double

Miss I La winning at The Meadowlands
Published: October 28, 2023 02:34 am EDT

Driver Joe Bongiorno had some power on Friday night (Oct. 27) at The Meadowlands and the 30-year-old pilot put it to good use, taking two of the seven $20,000 leg-five divisions of the Crawford Farms Kindergarten Series for two-year-olds of each sex and gait.

The Kindergarten finals and consolations will be contested at The Big M on Saturday, Nov. 4 with total purses estimated at $1 million.

Bongiorno guided Miss I La to victory lane in the first of two splits for filly trotters in 1:54.2 for trainer Noel Daley. After leaving the gate quickly, the daughter of Walner-Southwind Venus settled into the pocket behind Sambuca Hanover, vacated that spot to challenge that foe at three-quarters before going on to a 1-3/4-length win. Sambuca Hanover held second with Go For Gaagaa No third.

“She’s a very talented filly who did everything right,” said Bongiorno. “She settled into the hole nicely and when I moved her out, she did what she had to do.”

Miss I La returned $4.40 to win as the 6-5 favourite.

Lou Vuitton was equally as impressive, scoring in the second of three colt and gelding paces in a sparkling lifetime-best of 1:50.4 for trainer Ron Burke.

After sitting behind Fasnacht Hanover at the quarter, Bongiorno moved Lou Vuitton to the top, and after reaching the half in :55.3, had a :55.1 back half in his gas tank to record a 1-1/4-length victory. Fasnacht Hanover finished second with Crush Kill Destroy third.

“He was very good, but he’s a little lazy,” said Bongiorno. “You have to keep his attention, keep his mind on business. I was pleased with his effort.”

Lou Vuitton, a son of Sweet Lou-Shark Lightning, returned $2.80 to his backers as the heavy 2-5 public choice.

In the first of the three colt and gelding paces, Caviart Justice (Lazarus N-Caviart Jane) prevailed for driver Jordan Stratton and trainer Nancy Takter in a lifetime-best 1:52.1 as the 9-5 second choice before Courtship (Betting Line-Midnight Romance) took the third split for Matt Kakaley and Travis Alexander in a lifetime-best 1:51 as the 3-5 chalk.

In the evening’s lone event for colt and gelding trotters, Mosquito (Muscle Hill-Amour Heiress) clicked for Stratton and Lucas Wallin in a lifetime-best 1:54.2 as the 5-2 second choice.

Pressure Cooker (Heston Blue Chip-Bettor Be Steamin) won the only filly pace of the night for Corey Callahan and Linda Toscano, hitting the wire in a lifetime-best-equalling 1:51.4 as the 5-2 third choice.

The other filly trot was taken by Honeys Sweet (Chapter Seven-Corazon Blue Chip) in 1:54.2 as a 15-1 outsider for Steve Smith and Tony Alagna.

Kakaley, Stratton and Bongiorno all recorded driving doubles. Daley and Shane Tritton led the trainers with two winners each.

Peter Kleinhans served as co-host on set for the evening and picked Premier Joy A as his value play of the night in the fifth race who came in and paid $39.80. Dave Little was on target with the Early Pick-4 (cashing in for $138), the Trifecta box ($229) in the seventh race and an Exacta box ($89) in the eighth.

All-source handle on the 13-race card totalled $1,942,647.

Racing resumes on Saturday at 6:20 p.m.

(The Meadowlands)

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.