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River Shark Sails To Suslow Win; Maltese Artist Speeds In Invite


Published: April 18, 2009 8:51 pm ET

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River Shark made two moves early in the mile and drew off to a powerful 2 3/4-length victory in the $67,000 Robert J. Suslow Final Saturday night at The Meadowlands.

River Shark was hard-pressed to make the lead on the opening turn and faced immediate pressure from Glad To Back (George Brennan) in a :26.3 first split. Unwilling to sit in the two-hole, driver Dan Dube and River Shark re-claimed command from Glad To Be Back and spiraled to the half in 53.2. River Shark kicked away from the field on the final turn and motored to a career best 1:50.4 clocking. Sent off the 2-5 favourite, River Shark paid $2.80 to win. Lifesong (David Miller) and OK Braveheart (John Campbell) rallied off the hot fractions for place and show, respectively.

"I didn't want to go that fast [to the quarter and half], but I had no choice," Dube said. "I had to use him. He did it so easily. He has a good gait, [those fractions] were nothing for him. Every time you ask him, he gives you something. That's good. He showed something special today, to deal with those fractions and keep going. I like how he sees somebody come close to him and goes again."

Dave Sabatelli trains and co-owns River Shark with Carmine Fusco and Aaron Waxman, who was featured in this morning's Brantford Expositor. The son of Four Starzzz Shark-Riverview Diamond is eligible to the $225,000 Berry's Creek on May 9.

"It's awful nice after having his dad to come back with a nice colt like this from him," said Sabatelli, who also trained the colt's sire, Four Starzzz Shark. "Plans are for him to have a week off and then we'll go to the Berry's Creek and see how we go from there. He's got a pretty heavy stakes schedule. He's not eligible to the Meadowlands Pace or the North America Cup, but just about everything else. I think the greatest quality about him is his grit. He's tough. He doesn't have a lot of quit in him. He's pretty versatile and Danny's [Dube] teaching him how to race. He's raced him both ways [on the front and off the pace], and he's been successful both ways, so I give a lot of credit to Danny."

Maltese Artist Speeds In Invite

In this week’s $31,500 Invitational Pace, Maltese Artist became the fastest pacer of the year when he prevailed in a sizzling 1:48.4.

Driven by Brian Sears, the Ron Burke trainee sat in third through panels of :26.3 and :54.4 put up by the favoured All Shuttle (David Miller). Maltese Artist, the 2-1 second choice, then made the winning decision to roll first-up before three-quarters in 1:22.2. With a :26.2 final frame, the eight-year-old gelded son of Artiscape sprinted home for the victory.

Its That Time (Daniel Dube) finished a length and a half back in second and All Shuttle finished third.

Burke shares ownership of the bay with James Koran of Macedonia, Ohio. Maltese Artist, a winner of 37 races and over $2.3 million, has recorded three wins this year good for over $90,000.

In other action, trainer Mark Kesmodel tripled up winning with Line Of Fire N (1:50.4, George Brennan), Toucam Sam (1:51.1, Daniel Dube) and Fifth Wave (1:52.1, Yannick Gingras).

To view Saturday's results, click here.

(With files from NJSEA)

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