The second $20,000 leg of the Horse & Groom trotting series drew a dozen entries and went as the first and third races on Meadowlands Racetrack's Friday night card.
Bambino Glide took the opener in wire-to-wire fashion for Andy Miller to kick off the card on a pleasant spring evening, reducing his career record to 1:52.2 in the process.
Miller sent the favoured Bambino Glide to the top and set even fractions with second choice Hldontghttoyurdrms pocketed throughout in the abbreviated field. In the stretch, Bambino Glide sprinted away from that rival under his own power to a two and a quarter length decision. Crosbys Clam Bake may have secured a final berth with his third-place finish after being a judges scratch from the first leg.
Julie Miller is the trainer and Kapiledo Singh and Shakoor’s Racing Stable share ownership of the winner, who will look for the series sweep as the likely favourite in next Saturday’s $60,600 final.
The second division saw Banker Volo prevail over Amigo Ranger in a photo.
Amigo Ranger was a leg one winner in first over fashion and new driver Jimmy Morrill seized the opportunity afforded by the short field to steal easy fractions on the lead, aided by Ashes Cash and Explosive Action both going off stride before the half.
Banker Volo sat the pocket throughout and tipped out head stretch for Marcus Miller to engage the leader. It took the length of the stretch, but Banker Volo did get his nose on the wire first in 1:55.2. Amigo Ranger was gallant in defeat and March Awareness rewarded the hunch players with the show dough.
Erv Miller trains the talented Yankee Glide five-year-old for Mystical Marker Farms, Peggy Hood and Paymaq Racing.
A series of upsets on the second-half of the card, including a 24-1 'Team Orange Crush' shocker in the seventh with Bambino Hall, ignited a massive Late Pick 4 payout of $14,209.80 from the pool of $66,901, yielding just four winning tickets. This marked the fourth time on the meet where the Late Pick 4 returned over $10,000 for the pool that has returned an average payout of over $8,000 so far in 2014.
The Late Pick 4 returns Saturday with its customary $50,000 guaranteed pool. Featured on the Saturday program is the final of the Winter Survivor Series and the second round of the Clyde Hirt. Post time is 7:15 p.m.
(With files from Meadowlands Racetrack)