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Berry's Creek Elims Set

Published: April 29, 2009 4:57 pm ET

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The unofficial start of the stakes season for high-profile three-year-olds has arrived, as the Meadowlands Racetrack race office on Wednesday drew a pair of eliminations for the $225,000 (estimated) Berry’s Creek.

On Saturday, May 2, the East Rutherford, New Jersey oval will see a pair of $25,000 Berry's Creek elims contested. The Berry’s Creek drew 16 entrants. The first five finishers in each elim advance to the Berry’s Creek final on Saturday, May 9. Elim winners may select their post positions for the final.

A quartet of second-round Classic Series divisions for older horses will also highlight the Meadowlands' racing action on Friday and Saturday night.

After having swept the Robert J. Suslow Series, River Shark has been rated the 2-1 morning line favourite in the first of the Berry’s Creek elims (Race 5). The son of Four Starzzz Shark will start from Post 4. Dan Dube will drive. After having been asked twice early in the mile, River Shark motored to an impressive 1:50.4 victory in the $67,000 Suslow final on April 18. The student of trainer Dave Sabatelli has been first or second in six of seven starts this season.

Vertigo Hanover has been installed as the 5-2 choice in the second elim (Race 6). The Canadian shipper, trained by Duane Marfisi, will start from Post 7 with John Campbell in the bike. A $65,000 yearling purchase, the son of The Panderosa hit the board in five of seven starts as a two-year-old. He rallied from off the pace to win his sophomore debut last week in 1:52.3.

Trotters take the stage Friday night in two $60,000 divisions of the Classic Oaks for mares and a single $85,000 division of the Trotting Classic for horses and geldings. Buck I St Pat, 2008 Trotting Mare of the Year in the U.S., and O'Brien Award winner Lantern Kronos will square off in the first Oaks division, while the talent-heavy Trotting Classic pits O'Brien winner Arch Madness against previous divisional champions Enough Talk and Corleone Kosmos.

On Saturday, defending divisional champ My Little Dragon will tackle a small, but stellar field of mares in the Classic Distaff, including Darlins Delight, Southwind Tempo and Martha Maxine. The Pacing Classic appears to be a wide-open event with a field of eight that includes opening round winner Frog Juice, early season standout Winbak Speed, Won The West and Allamerican Idol.

$25,000 Berry’s Creek Elimination
Race 5, Saturday, May 2
Post, Horse, Driver, Trainer, Line
1, Drop Red, George Brennan, Robert Horowitz, 7-2
2, Monkey Off My Back, Brian Sears, Chris Ryder, 8-1
3, Annieswesterncard, Ron Pierce, Joe Seekman, 5-1
4, River Shark, Daniel Dube, Dave Sabatelli, 2-1
5, Lifesong, David Miller, Brian Magie Jr., 8-1
6, Spring Again, Yannick Gingras, Eric Abbatiello, 12-1
7, Pair A Dice, John Campbell, Steve Elliott, 9-2
8, Western Posse, Ron Pierce, Noel Daley, 10-1

$25,000 Berry’s Creek Elimination
Race 6, Saturday, May 2
Post, Horse, Driver, Trainer, Line
1, Allamerican Improv, John Campbell, Jim Graham, 10-1
2, My Old Friend John, Brian Sears, Bruce Saunders, 8-1
3, Arctic Warrior, David Miller, Sam Beegle, 12-1
4, Lisagain, Andy Miller, Erv Miller, 9-2
5, Hypnotic Blue Chip, Tim Tetrick, Mark Harder, 3-1
6, Sheer Desire, Brian Sears, Ron Burke, 5-1
7, Vertigo Hanover, John Campbell, Duane Marfisi, 5-2
8, Vertical Horizon, David Miller, Bjorn Noren, 8-1

(With files from the Meadowlands)

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