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Western Joe Wins Again At Meadowlands

Published: March 17, 2018 11:16 pm ET

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Western Joe won once again at the Meadowlands Saturday, March 17, winning the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace for a fourth time in six tries this year.

Sent to the gate as the 3-5 public choice, Western Joe was away third around the first turn. Driver Jim Marohn Jr. soon moved the favourite to the top and hit the quarter in :27.3, going unchallenged through a :55.4 half.

Rodeo Romeo and Bettors Edge tried to mount challenges at the top of the stretch, but Western Joe was in high gear through the lane, sprinting to record a half-length win in 1:50.4 over Rodeo Romeo. Artful Way was third.

“I was very happy with the trip,” winning trainer Chris Choate said. “I wanted to see him on the lead. He doesn’t like to get beat. He’s getting more mature and I’m very proud of him.”

Western Joe returned $3.40 to his backers for owner Anthony Ruggeri and has won five of seven starts this year. Lifetime, the four-year-old son of Western Ideal has won 14 of 36 and earned $216,548.

A LITTLE MORE: Chalk players had their way on the program, as eight public choices scored on the 12-race card.

In the Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five (Race 9), 3-5 favorite Maajaackkobe hit the wire first, and that suited the player with the only winning ticket just fine, as $14,365 was the payoff.

There was no single-ticket winner in the Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five (Race 12), raising the carryover to $148,306.

All-source wagering totaled $2,162,363.

Racing resumes at the Big M Friday, March 23. Friday marks the change of the regular first-race post time to 7:15 p.m.

(With files from the Meadowlands)

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