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Martha Maxine, Yellow Diamond Sparkle In Stake Finals


Published: February 20, 2009 10:11 pm ET

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Driver Andy Miller scored his second straight win in the Cape & Cutter as Martha Maxine motored to a career best 1:50.4 victory in the $87,500 final Friday night at the Meadowlands.

Martha Maxine [$3.80, $2.40, $2.10] sat fourth on the rail until her stablemate, Glory Bee, moved out to challenge Sportsfancy down the backstretch. Miller tipped Martha Maxine off her cover in the stretch and she pulled away by 3 1-4 lengths. Chancey Lady [$4.80, $3.80] and Cuz She Can [$2.20] were second and third, respectively.

"Post one was not the best spot [to start from] because I did not want to get trapped in," Andy Miller said. "The way it worked out, a couple of them left and then I was able to sit and wait and get some cover. It worked out perfectly. They weren't going real big fractions [27, 55.2, 1:24], but it took her some time to get there and I just bided my time on the backside there. She just needed a little racetrack because she was ready to take off."

Andy Miller won the 2008 Cape & Cutter Final for open pacing mares with Street Dancer, trained by his wife, Julie Miller. This time he was in the sulky for his older brother, Erv Miller, who purchased Martha Maxine in partnership with Tony Alagna and Brittany Farms on May 26, 2008.

"We raced her a little as a four-year-old but didn't stake her to anything," Erv Miller said. "This year, we've tried to stake her and race against some of the better mares. I'm sure she's better that way [racing off the pace]. She was pretty game last week [on the front] but her best shot would be to come late."

Martha Maxine, a five-year-old daughter of Park Place, has now won 17 of 33 career starts and $270,390.

Yellow Diamond picked an opportune time for her first career win in the co-featured $76,000 Tender Loving Care Final for three-year-old fillies. Driven by David Miller, Yellow Diamond brushed to the lead past the half and romped to a nine-length tally in a stakes record 1:51.3. (Southwind Tempo held the previous record of 1:51.3).

Bulletproof Enterprises' Yellow Diamond paid $7.40 to win her third career start, and first for trainer Casie Coleman. She is a three-year-old daughter of Western Terror out of the Matts Scooter mare Mattatonic.

"It's pretty impressive for her to go that much on her third career start," said David Miller. "I would've liked to follow cover up; she races real good like that. When I landed in fourth, I had to make a move. I wasn't sure how moving back into the wind would be, but she got there pretty easily. She shows a lot of potential."

The winter stakes action at the Meadowlands continues Saturday night with the $84,000 Aquarius, $82,500 Junior Trendsetter and $73,800 Exit 16W finals. Post time is 7 p.m. Past performances for the stakes, courtesy of Trackmaster, are available here.

In regular racing action, Youre Next made it three in a row when he converted a pocket trip into a $35,000 victory in the Invitational Trot.

Leaving from Post 7, Youre Next and George Brennan shot off the gate, but Likeabatoutahell (Brian Sears) matched his strides from the far outside and took off securing a three-length lead by the opening quarter in :27.1. Youre Next, who went off at odds of 13-1, stalked the pacesetter in second through the following panels of :56.3 and 1:26.3, then powered up in the stretch and pulled ahead for the win in a career best time of 1:54.4. Rose Run Fastball (Andy Miller) finished third.

In five outings this year, the seven-year-old Yankee Paco gelding has recorded third wins and two seconds. Trained by Timothy Case for Andrew Sassen of Coral Springs, Florida, the bay has recorded 24 lifetime wins with over $135,000 in earnings.

To view Friday's results, click here.

(With files from NJSEA)

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