Action Galore At Freehold Saturday

Published: October 7, 2023 09:45 pm EDT

A combination of New Jersey Sire Stakes, amateur racing, and an Italian-American drivers race made for an exciting card of harness racing on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Freehold Raceway.

The third race kicked off the NJSS action with the first of two $10,000 first leg divisions of the Standardbred Development Fund for two-year-old filly pacers. Jason Bartlett steered Mike Hall trainee Pulp Fiction to victory for Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC. The Bettors Wish filly went straight to the lead from post three and no one was able catch the 1-5 favourite as she paced the mile in 1:56.4. Bartlett went on to win the fourth with On Accident and the Preferred in Race 10 with El Le Tissier N for a driving triple.

The duo of Let it Ride Stables and Bottom Line Racing were victorious again in race five, the second division of the NJSDF two-year-old filly pace as 1-2 favourite Odds On Steno scored with Jordan Stratton in the bike. Leaving from post two, the filly settled into the three hole after the first turn where she sat until the half. She then battled Celcius and Jim King Solomon for the lead from first over. Once the Bettors Wish filly cleared, Stratton never looked back and steered her to victory in 1:58.3.

The $70,000 Standardbred Development Fund final for three-year-old colt pacers in race eight was won by Stay Grounded and driver Jonathan Ahle. Ahle pointed the Stay Hungry colt straight to the lead from the rail and put up fractions of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:25.1. Taste of Honey and Jordan Stratton rallied late but were no match for the 2-5 favourite, as Stay Grounded completed the mile in 1:54.1.

Stay Grounded is trained by Noel Daley. Co-owners Tom and Barbara Matthews are very fond of the homebred colt as he is the only living foal out of the late mare, Radar Contact, who was very special to them.

“He was very difficult as a two-year-old," said Barbara. "The mare that he was out of was extremely difficult too. He’s very special, we’re thrilled.”

The fun continued in the ninth race when John Calabrese won the Italian-American drivers race, featuring amateur drivers and ‘A’ drivers of Italian descent with drivers were randomly assigned to the horses. Calabrese scored with Pictonian Thunder for trainer Izzy Estrada in 1:58.3. Calabrese went on to win the finale, a $9,000 American Harness Drivers Club trot with Allindotime (pictured above) for a driving double.

Making his 200th lifetime start My Big Kadillac, won the first AHDC trot with his owner - trainer - driver Mike Polansky at the controls of the 2:01.1 mile.

Freehold Raceway returns with more racing and more New Jersey Sire Stakes next week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for the final time before resuming to Fridays and Saturdays only for the rest of 2023. Post time is 12:30 p.m.


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