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Atlanta Makes Four-Year-Old Debut

Published: April 27, 2019 12:45 pm ET

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The stars were certainly out on Saturday morning at The Meadowlands for the day’s qualifying races contested on a very windy morning over a track that was dry but dulled a bit by overnight rains. A steady, strong wind was blowing hard across the track, helping most around the final turn and somewhat against them in the stretch with the temperature around 12°C when they began at 10:00 a.m.

The great Hambletonian winning filly Atlanta her first appearance today for her new trainer Ron Burke with Yannick Gingras at the controls and she was fabulous. Sent out to the front from post eight, Atlanta set all the fractions in a 1:52.3 mile, final half in :55.2 and into the wind last quarter of :27.3 with no urging. The Veteran (Scott Zeron) was impressive in his first go around to hold second over an clearly in hand Cruzado Dela Noche (Brian Sears). Crawford Farms, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor own the trotting queen, who was racing without trotting hopples for the first time in her career.

Marcus Melander brought a large portion of his imposing team of sophomore colt trotters up for the day and clearly the most impressive performance of the morning from his string was turned in by the enigmatic Greenshoe (Brian Sears) who looked composed and imposing at the same time. Greenshoe trotted an impressive 1:54.1 mile with a back half in :56 and a :28.1 final quarter well under wraps, leaving his competition in some disarray 20 or more lengths in arrears. The Father Patrick colt is insanely talented and can certainly trot with anyone if his connections can keep his focus on business for owner Anders Ström’s nom de course, Courant Inc.

Melander’s Dan Patch Award and Breeders Crown winning Gimpanzee (Sears) who sat last of the field of six and closed some late as Hudson River (Marcus Johansson) set even fractions in an easy 1:57.2 win over Captain Krupnik (Svanstedt) and a closing Southwind Avenger (Dexter Dunn).

Gerry (Melander) put in a solid front-stepping 1:56.3 effort, closing it out in :28.1 under no urging. Soul Strong (Ake Svanstedt) closed a bit up the inside to take the place over pocket-sitter No Drama Please (Tetrick). Gerry is owned by SRF Stable.

The Millers opened the day with the good Father Patrick filly French Café cutting the mile for Andy to a 1:58 win off a 1:01.3 and 1:30 three-quarters. Sisters Promise (Tim Tetrick) was second and Susy (Scott Zeron) third. For perspective she trotted in 1:55.4 in her first try two weeks ago. Julie Miller trains the homebred winner for Marvin Katz & Al Libfeld.

Evident Beauty (David Miller) looked sharp in her first effort for trainer Nifty Norman passing fillies from well back in the stretch for a 1:57.4, with a wind-compromised 30 second final quarter on the board. Winndevie (T. Smedshammer) was second and Whispering Oaks (S. Zeron) third. The White Birch Farm-bred Trixton filly was a multiple Grand Circuit winner at The Red Mile last fall for owners Mel Hartman, Little E and R A W Stable.

The pacers began with the seventh qualifying race and Captaintreacherous sired the winner of the first two sophomore colt races. Major Deception (Tetrick) was a winner in 1:55.3, leading through the :56.2 closing half comfortably holding on over No Mas Amor (Gingras). Tony Alagna is the trainer while In The Gym Partners (John Fodera & Steve Wienick), Martha Frank, Robert LeBlanc, Steve Head and Joe Sbrocco own the colt, listed at 50-1 in the TROT Magazine's 2019 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book.

Captain Victorious (Gingras) was giant in his first start from the Ron Burke barn. He set a solid pace then closed out a remarkable 1:51.1 mile in :27.2 with mild encouragement from the driver. Best In Show (Tetrick) was a good second with Dancin Lou (Matt Kakaley) third. Captain Victorious was assessed odds of 35-1 in the Spring Book.

Major March (D. Miller) raced right back to his good mile behind Captain Crunch last week with an effortless 1:52.1 daylight win over a closing Buddy Hill (Sears) and Escapetothebeach (Tetrick). Linda Toscano trains the Art Major colt for Bay Pond Racing.

Last year’s top freshman filly Warrawee Ubeaut (Gingras) has come back beautifully for Burke and the Sweet Lou lass was an easy 1:53.2 winner, settling nicely off the pace early and rolling by good fillies late under her own power. Odds On Clearwater (Dunn) and St Somewhere (D. Miller) followed the winner, owned by Burke, Collura, Silva, Purnell & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi.

Youaremycandygirl (Gingras) closed in tandem with three-year-old Treacherous Reign (Dunn) to nip Percy Blue Chip (Kakaley) in 1:53.1. Bill Donovan owns the mare and Ron Burke trains.

Done Well was scary good in the last today dragging Dexter Dunn around in 1:50.4 to win by seven over a really good bunch of older pacing horses. Dorsoduro Hanover (Kakaley) left into play from post 10 and was real good for second with Filibuster Hanover (Gingras) completing the Burke sweep.

To view the results from the Saturday morning qualifying session at The Meadowlands, click the following link: Saturday Qualifying Results - Meadowlands.

(with files from The Meadowlands)

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