Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment presented nine preview qualifying races Thursday evening looking toward Saturday’s Grand Opening and the last few races showcased several of harness racing’s top performers.
A few of the season’s fastest freshman pacing colts used tonight as a tightener for next Saturday’s $534,500 Governor’s Cup stake. A pair of Ron Burke trainees hit the wire together with Somestarsomewhere hanging on by a short nose over JK Endofanera in 1:51.4 with a wicked :26-second final quarter after setting all the pace for Yannick Gingras. Burke Racing owns this son of Somebeachsomewhere, who set the freshman track record of 1:49.2 at The Red Mile this fall and won his Breeders Crown elim in a world record 1:49.4 at Pocono, with Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Yanek & Carr.
The seventh race, three-year-old pacing fillies prepping for the Nadia Lobell, pitted this year’s top sophomore I Luv The Nitelife against last’s season division leader Somwherovrarainbow, who was making her first start out of the Joe Holloway barn. They went around the oval in that order through fractions of :27.2, :55.4 and 1:23.3 before flying home in :26.3 with I Luv The Nitelife winning by 1-1/2 lengths. Tim Tetrick was behind the filly, as he has been in all of her starts and she looks as sharp as she has at any point this season. Chris Ryder conditions the Rocknroll Hanover filly for Richard and Joanne Young.
The most exciting news of the fall season is that top three-year-old pacing colt Captaintreacherous is slated to face older horses in the $500,000 TVG FFA Final on November 30, a feat that hasn’t been attempted in decades. Captaintreacherous used tonight’s qualifier to hone to a razor’s edge with a 1:49.3 waltz around the racetrack. Tetrick guided him through even fractions with a :27-second kicker on the end.
Captaintreacherous has also held his form remarkably over the long and taxing summer and was turned out beautifully for tonight’s race by trainer Tony Alagna and his team. All that remains is for the connections, ownership group Captaintreacherous Racing headed by Myron Bell, and Tony to deem him fit for the race and we’ll get to see the match-up that we’d like.
The last race saw Pet Rock getting some work in toward that same TVG Final goal, where he will certainly be a main contender. Dave Miller put him right on the lead through soft numbers then sprinted home in :26.1 to win in 1:50.4. Trainer Virgil Morgan has Frank Bellino’s Rocknroll Hanover stud dead sharp for the last start of his career next Saturday before he heads off to Midland Farms in Ohio to embark on his new career.
“Having the two preview nights to allow the servers and food prep the opportunity to get familiar with their jobs in the new space has been invaluable,” said Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment General Manager and CEO Jason Settlemoir. “Thanks to the horsemen for supporting it with their participation, and to all of our employees for their hard work and dedication as we prepare for Saturday’s Grand Opening.”