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'Diamond' Flexes Muscle In Preferred

Published: November 2, 2018 11:33 pm ET

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When it comes to the Meadowlands, Muscle Diamond is very much a horse for the course.

The six-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Windylane Hanover thrashed five overmatched opponents in the Friday night feature at the mile oval, the $20,000 Preferred Handicap for trotters.

Winning driver Andy McCarthy did not rush the 1-9 favourite to the top, opting instead to make his way steadily to the lead while racing on the outside at the three-eighths before hitting the half in :55.4. A sleepy :29.1 fraction followed as Pappy Go Go – seeking his third straight win – put up a fight from first-over, but the Brett Bittle-trained Muscle Diamond rebuffed that challenge before hitting the wire 1-3/4 lengths in front of a fast-closing Tyson. Pappy Go Go held on for third.

Muscle Diamond, who set his lifetime-best of 1:50.1 at the Big M in late June before taking the Vincennes on Hambletonian Day in 1:51, completed his mile Friday in 1:52.2 to stay perfect in three Meadowlands starts this year. He paid $2.20 to his backers in winning for the 17th time in 51 lifetime starts while upping his earnings to $755,199 for owners Charles Keller III, Charles Keller IV, Daniel Bittle and Brett Bittle.

A LITTLE MORE: McCarthy had the hot hand all night, taking four races on the card. … One lucky simulcast player at Pompano Park had a huge night as the only player to have all 10 winners in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 and walk away with $10,221. … Six favourites hit the winner’s circle on the 10-race card, and in two of the races where the public choice lost, the winner’s odds were 6-5 (race four) and 2-1 (race eight). … All-source handle on the program totaled $1,723,596. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Four finals of the Kindergarten Classic for two-year-olds sit atop the marquee, with purses that total almost $900,000.

(Meadowlands Racetrack)

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