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Stakes Hopefuls Sweep First Leg Of Matts Scooter Series

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Published: April 10, 2010 9:33 pm ET

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Heavy favourites Ideal Matters and Europan Union lived up to expectations in the first round of the Matts Scooter Series on Saturday night at Meadowlands Racetrack while Pilgrims Toner grabbed his fifth straight win in the Invitational Pace.

Ideal Matters, with Tim Tetrick in the sulky, took command at the half and never looked back en route to a 3-3/4-length victory in 1:51.4. Terlingua (Brian Sears) finished second off a perfect journey behind the winner. Pike Hanover (George Brenna) was a distanced third.

The overwhelming 1-5 choice in the betting, Ideal Matters improved his record to three wins in four career starts. Trainer Noel Daley is pointing the colt toward the $1 million Meadowlands Pace, the country's richest event for three-year-old colt pacers, on Saturday, July 17. The son of Western Ideal-Art Matters was a $60,000 yearling purchase at the 2008 Lexington Selected Sale by Brittany Farms, Adam Victor & Son Stable LLC, Melvin Hartman and John Fodera. He did not race at age two.

"He always had the ability, but had a sore ankle last year and it came at just the wrong time," Daley's assistant trainer Mike Vanderkemp noted.

Europan Union, rated at 3-5, pounced off a pocket trip to win the second Matts Scooter division in a career best 1:53.2, with Andy Miller in tow. BJs Bequia (Dave Miller) charged home in :26.3 to finish second, while Rockin The House (Yannick Gingras) held third after cutting the mile.

Trained by Erv Miller, Europan Union picked up his fourth career win, bringing his slate to an impressive 4-3-3 in 13 starts. Bred and owned by Robert Glazer's Peter Pan Stables, the son of No Pan Intended-Pansatlantic is being aimed toward the $225,000 (est.) Berry's Creek on Saturday, May 8.

In other action, Pilgrims Toner made it five-in-a-row for trainer and part-owner Frank Catalfamo with a 1:49 wire-to-wire romp in the $32,000 Invitational Pace. Yannick Gingras guided the heavy favourite past stations of :26.2, :54.3 and 1:22.4 and kicked away from his five rivals with a :26.1 final frame. Blatantly Good (Richard Silverman) finished nearly four lengths behind after closing from fifth while Lisagain (John Campbell) rounded out the top three.

New Jersey’s Joseph Spezio, Patrick Daley, and Robert Mills share ownership of the six-year-old The Panderosa-Beep Beep gelding with Catalfamo. Pilgrims Toner’s sixth win in 13 starts this season bumped his earnings to $97,955. Overall, the bay has won 21 times in his career good for just over $300,000 in earnings.

To view Saturday's results, click here.

(With files from Meadowlands Racetrack)


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