Fights Mounting For Fall Final Four

Published: November 17, 2020 09:12 pm EST

Grand Circuit racing for 2020 is nearing its end along with the careers of a few competing on the stakes-laden card at the Meadowlands on Saturday (Nov. 21).

Trainer Nancy Takter sends world-champion mare Manchego for her final hurrah as she faces Atlanta in the $320,000 TVG Open Trot. Following a mid-year slump, the five-year-old Muscle Hill mare rebounded at Harrah’s Hoosier Park and claimed her third Breeders Crown title with a 1:52 victory in the $300,000 Mare Trot. Dexter Dunn will drive the $2.5-million earner in her final mile from post 4 while Atlanta, off a third-place finish in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot, will start from post 1 in the five-horse field.

Another five-year-old for trainer Nancy Takter—the Somebeachsomewhere mare Kissin In The Sand—will wrap her racing duties after she competes in the $150,000 TVG Mare Pace. The $1.6-million earner enters on a six-race win streak that culminated into a Breeders Crown title in the $300,000 Mare Pace Final. Dexter Dunn also sits behind this Takter trainee as she leaves from post 9.

Defending U.S. Horse of the Year Shartin N will try to reclaim her throne when she starts from post 4 against Kissin In The Sand. The seven-year-old Tintin In America mare finished second to Kissin In The Sand in the elimination and final of the Breeders Crown, but last week paced a workout mile of 1:50.1 at Dover Downs with a :25.4 final quarter. Tim Tetrick steers the Jim King Jr. trainee neighboring Peaky Sneaky, the three-year-old Bettors Delight filly and Breeders Crown winner trained by Nancy Takter trying her hand against aged company.

Chris Ryder’s double millionaire Bettors Wish will also head to pasture following the $340,000 TVG Open Pace to begin his stallion career with Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The four-year-old son of Bettors Delight will attempt to land in the winner’s circle a final time following two runner-up finishes, one to Century Farroh in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace and the other last week in the $100,000 Potomac Pace Invitational at Rosecroft Raceway. Dexter Dunn will have driving duties on a third retiree when the winner of $2.4 million starts from post 5.

Breeders Crown winner Century Farroh also competes in the TVG Open Pace, making his return to the track following a sick scratch in the Potomac Pace. The four-year-old son of Mach Three cut his teeth through the year against the Free For All pacing ranks with the exception of the two times he upended Bettors Wish, both at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Century Farroh, last competing at the Meadowlands with a fourth-place finish behind Bettors Wish in the Sam McKee Memorial, will start from post 3.

Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella will square against aged mares in the $140,000 TVG Mare Trot. The Nancy Takter-trained sophomore by Muscle Hill enters off a 1:53.1 victory in the $163,050 Matron at Dover Downs and will start from post 1 with Yannick Gingras in the sulky. World-champion Plunge Blue Chip, her stablemate Felicityshagwell S, and 2019 Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry will also contest the six-horse affair.

Freshmen stakes competition begins on Saturday with the $451,800 Goldsmith Maid, which gather 11 trotting fillies. Noel Daley trainee Anoka Hanover rides a six-race win streak as she attempts to parlay a win in the $252,340 Kindergarten Final into Grand Circuit glory. Todd McCarthy steers the daughter of Donato Hanover from post 1.

Lady Chaos makes her first appearance since scoring a 1:54.4 victory as the even-money favourite in the $600,000 Breeders Crown Final. The Linda Toscano-trained filly Cantab Hall will have to overcome post 9 for driver David Miller in an 11-horse affair.

Another Breeders Crown winner in On A Streak drops into the box, racing from post 4 in the $398,650 Valley Victory. Bob McClure is slated to trek stateside for the Luc Blais trainee who established himself on the main stage with a maiden-breaking score in the $406,600 William Wellwood Memorial. Dees Red Delicous, off a win in the $207,570 Kindergarten Classic Final, will start from post 6 with driver Corey Callahan in the 11-horse event.

Trainer Ake Svanstedt sends four in the Valley Victory, led by Massachusetts Sires Stakes champ Incommunicado. The Chapter Seven gelding starts from post 3, wide of his two stablemates by Southwind Frank; Delayed Hanover and Capstone. Fly Light will race a distance from his peers on the gate, starting from post 10.

Fire Start Hanover scores an inside draw in the $323,600 Three Diamonds Final. The Richard “Nifty” Norman trained daughter of Somebeachsomewhere lands in post 1 off back-to-back victories, one coming in the $600,000 Breeders Crown Final and the other in the $151,030 Kindergarten Classic Final. Dexter Dunn will retains the drive as she competes inside of Tony Alagna speedster Notorious Pink, racing from post 3 off a rebound victory in 1:53 at the Meadowlands, in the 11-horse contest.

Grand Circuit competition for the freshmen caps with the $371,900 Governor’s Cup. Summa Cum Laude, who made history in the $600,000 Breeders Crown Final when becoming the only winner via dead heat, will start from post 3 off a 1:50.2 win in the $204,050 Kindergarten Classic Final. He faces 10 other foes including Always A Miki, who won the prep event for this race last week with a 1:52.3 effort, from post 6.

The final stakes card of the Meadowlands season features 13 races total, with action slated to get underway at 7:15 p.m. (EST).



I think that the 2020 editions of The TVG's and The Governor's Cup are, unfortunately, watered-down versions of these races which were held in past years. Tall Dark Stranger, Party Girl Hill, Gimpanzee, and Perfect Sting were the only horses to receive first-place votes in Tuesday's Top 10 Poll. Not one of them will be racing at The Meadowlands on Saturday.

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