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Kindergarten Classics Complete

Published: November 8, 2020 12:19 am ET

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The Meadowlands Racetrack played host to four Kindergarten Classic Finals on its Saturday (Nov. 7) card, with many from each division of freshman standardbred readying for the Fall Final Four in two weeks.

A week after Summa Cum Laude and Perfect Sting recorded the first dead-heat Breeders Crown win, Yannick Gingras steered him to a 1:50.2 win in the $204,050 Kindergarten Classic for freshman pacing colts and geldings at The Meadowlands.

Soaring to first off the gate was Shakespeare, followed by Captain Sleeze, with the Ron Burke-trained Summa Cum Laude in fourth behind Ilderton AM after leaving from the 10 hole. Shakespeare cut the first quarter in :26.4.

Summa Cum Laude took to the outside and smoothly passed Shakespeare. With the lead, he was entirely in charge pacing to a 1:23.3 three-quarters. Simon Says Hanover came first over to make his bid but Shakespeare was still strong and still after the leader, while Always B Sweet came into the stretch picture.

Without urging, Gingras drove Summa Cum Laude across the wire to a lifetime- best-equaling score by one-and-a-quarter lengths.

“I just tried to get him in play,” Gingras said after the race. “I wasn’t going to take back to last, so I was able to get away fourth and from there I saw what the pace was going to be, though it didn’t matter, because he can race any which what way. I had a ton of pace still when finishing.”

Shakespeare held on for second, Captain Sleeze got third and Always B Sweet closed late to get fourth.

Summa Cum Laude is by Somebeachsomewhere—Western Graduate. Burke Racing Stable and P. Collura, J. and T Silva-Purnel and Libby own the colt who took his fifth win in 14 starts and accrued $445,425 in earnings.

As the favourite, Summa Cum Laude paid $4.00 to win.

Fresh from her Breeders Crown 1:50.4 victory at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, Fire Start Hanover and driver Dexter Dunn swarmed over her competition to win the $151,030 Kindergarten Classic for freshmen pacing fillies.

Fire Start Hanover, opening the 1-9 favorite, was in no rush leaving the gate, and settled into fourth as High Minded and Lindy At The Beach rushed from the outside and Three Way Split held onto his rail position.

As the first quarter clocked in :26.3, High Minded gave up the lead to Classicist, who could not keep the top before the :55.2 half when Dunn guided Fire Start Hanover to the outside. With Off The Record at his back, Fire Start Hanover became the leader and never looked back.

The “Nifty” Norman-trained filly glided into the stretch in total command, with Off The Record in futile pursuit, crossing the wire one-and-a-quarter lengths in front in a 1:51.1 mile. Off The Record was second and Classicist shifted into third over High Minded, fourth.

Dunn said, “She bounced back okay. It’s only a week since she raced in the Breeders Crown and though that was a tough mile she did it pretty easily.” In the Kindergarten, he said, “The way she was traveling to three-quarters I was not worried because she was full of pace. She finished the mile with the ear plugs still in. She’s strong.”

Fire Start Hanover is a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, out of Fit To Frame. Pinske Stables, David K. Hoese and Lawrence M. Means own the filly who collected her eighth win in a dozen starts and has earned $593,101. She paid $2.40 to win.

Leading a tightening bunch after leader Jack Fire, Dees Red Delicous emerged victorious in the $207,570 Kindergarten Classic for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings.

Driver Corey Callahan floated Dees Red Delicous into fourth to a :28 first quarter as 3-5 favorite Lindsymusclemania broke into a gallop entering the backstretch. Straightening to the backside, Jack Fire circled to the top out of third and posted a :57.4 half while Callahan gave Dee’s Red Delicious his cue.

Into the far turn Dees Red Delicous loomed closer with Peter Haughton champ Zenith Stride in tow to three-quarters in 1:26.2. Jack Fire clung to command as the charge closed in, with Zenith Stride angling three wide, Roysons Punch trying to squeak up the pylons and Bee Forever lodged between horses. But Dees Red Delicous kept the compact late threats to his back and slid to a three-quarter length victory over Jack Fire. Bee Forever finished third in the 1:54.3 mile while Zenith Stride took fourth.

“He’s really been kind of the perfect horse,” trainer Bruce Saunders said of Dees Red Delicous, whose poised to compete in the Valley Victory on Nov. 21. “When he got beat it wasn’t his fault, it was my fault and maybe Corey’s fault. Last week we were stunned that he was so flat—he had some respiratory issues that fortunately we were able to get cleared up.”

Owned by Joseph Martinelli Sr., Dees Red Delicous scored his sixth win from 12 starts, banking $460,861. The Credit Winner-Apple Plush gelding paid $15.40 to win.

While Insta Glam fast-stepped her way through the early portions of the mile, Anoka Hanover readied her attack, and the 4-5 choice successfully reeled in the tiring pacesetter for driver Todd McCarthy to win the $252,340 Kindergarten Classic for two-year-old trotting fillies.

McCarthy landed Anoka Hanover in fifth while Insta Glam ground to the lead by a :27.2 opening quarter. Insta Glam continued on an uncontested lead to a :55.4 half as Anoka Hanover edged wide off the pylons with Mazzarati on her back.

Anoka Hanover made gains first over into the final turn, but caught cover to three-quarters when Wet My Whistle angled off the cones from third. Insta Glam meanwhile expanded her lead by the three-quarters in 1:24.1 but grew leg weary into the stretch. McCarthy took aim with Anoka Hanover to the center of the track and slid to a one-and-a-quarter length victory with ease while stopping the clock in a lifetime-best 1:52.3. Insta Glam held second with Mazzarati finishing third and Hot As Hill fourth.

“She’s always been very clever, very easy going on herself, not nervous at all,” trainer Noel Daley said of Anoka Hanover, whose next start will come in the Goldsmith Maid on Nov. 21. “It’s easy to work with a trotting filly when they’ve got the brains. She’s not the prettiest going thing, but she just had the guts.”

A Donato Hanover-Aunt Mel filly owned by Daley along with L A Express Stable LLC and Caviart Farms, Anoka Hanover collected her ninth victory from 13 starts to push her bankroll to $379,461. She paid $3.60 to win.

Each division of the Kindergarten Classic was presented by sponsor Diamond Creek Farm.

MAKING THE GRADE: Wagering got off to a good start on the 13-race program as over $341,000 was pushed through the windows on the opener, leading to an all-source total of $2,561,614.

Todd McCarthy led the driver’s colony with three winners, including 45-1 long shot S McKee in the finale, leading to a 10-cent Pentafecta payoff of $7,786.22.

The 20-cent Pick-6 went unhit, which means a carryover of $8,085 will be up for grabs on the next program. Those with tickets bearing five winners cashed in for $245.02.

George Napolitano Jr., Corey Callahan and Dexter Dunn all had driving doubles.

Expect to see a big handful of the horses who raced in the Kindergartens to be on hand Saturday, Nov. 21 on Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night, when approximately $2.8 million in purse money will be on the table.

Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. (EST).

(Meadowlands Racetrack)

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