Dave Miller, who had driven Sweet Justice to victory in his last two starts, was missing from that horse’s sulky Friday night at Meadowlands Racetrack. That was because a horse that Miller co-owns, Aisling was entered in the same race. While Aisling mounted a strong late surge to finish a very solid third from an impossible spot, it was Sweet Justice who stole the show again.
Making the lead by the half-mile marker, Sweet Justice, who was sent off as the lukewarm 2-1 favourite despite his recent dominance, quickly was challenged by the classy Lauderdale moving into the far turn. Those two raced in tandem as the field turned for home and it was Sweet Justice who edged clear and fended off Lauderdale to win again in 1:54.2 with Jim Meittinis for trainer Bruce Saunders and owner M And M Harness Racing. The $25,000 Harrisburg purchase has now yielded a $31,000 dividend since the sale and can safely be called the steal of the sale.
In the featured $30,000 A-2/Free-For-All Trot, 4-5 favourite Upfront Billy did not disappoint, making the lead going to the half and never looking back. He scored in 1:54.3 with Dave Miller for trainer Mark Ford, who co-owns with Up Front Racing. Appomattox rallied boldly to be a strong second with Amigo Ranger finishing third.
Andy Miller earned himself three wins on the card including a 24-1 upset with Helios. That was not the only longshot on the night though. Coe Leader also scored at 24-1 in race 10, capping a late Pick 4 that returned a payout of $2,636.80 from the $62,808 pool.
The total handle tonight of $2,593,469 yielded a 43 percent increase over the last time The Meadowlands raced on this date, which was in 2010. Additionally, the live handle was up 15 percent.
Racing resumes Saturday with a 13-race program. Post time is 7:15 p.m. and features the annual "Toys For Tots" promotion and a long-sleeve t-shirt giveaway.
(With files from Meadowlands Racetrack)