The Meadowlands Racetrack was abuzz this morning as some of the top older horses and three-year-olds were prepping for upcoming stakes. A dozen qualifiers began at 9:30 a.m. on a dry track under clear skies with little wind and the temperature in the 50s.
A number of Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff eligibles used today's qualifiers to prep for next Sunday’s stake and JL Cruze made a strong case for his chances, sprinting clear of a good field by several lengths off the last turn then coasting late in 1:53. Crazy Wow left for the lead, released JL Cruze approaching the half and was second best while Pinkman made late gains to be third. Eric Ell conditions the winner for owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Jr and Steve Iaquinta.
DWs NY Yank is another eligible that impressed with an easy 1:53.2 win for Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. Canepa Hanover got another good work in on his return to the races and was a comfortable second while Jewels In Hock and Crazshana also went well and were together at the wire. Burke Racing owns the winner in partnership with Howard Taylor and Weaver Bruscemi.
Be advised that there will be no live racing at The Meadowlands on Friday, May 6. There will be a live card on Sunday, May 8 a Mother’s Day matinee card with post time at 12:40 p.m. The first race on that Mother’s Day card will be the $150,000e Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff.
Radiant Beam won the day’s opener for Andy and Julie Miller in 1:56 after a pocket ride behind Dizzy Broad. Hollywood Hill split horses to gain the place while Dizzy Broad tired a bit though held third. Jason and Ronald Allen own the winner.
Several of 2015’s finest two-year-old trotting fillies gathered for the second race and O'Brien Award winner Caprice Hill was the best in 1:53 for Tim Tetrick. She sat a pocket behind the anxious Black Broadway who rattled off fast fractions, went by quickly and finished willingly in the fast mile. Last season’s Dan Patch award winner All The Time made good gains late to be just a neck back in second, a useful first seasonal effort and Womans Will was a good third in her first go. Tony Alagna trains Caprice Hill for owner Tom Hill.
Southwind Flash (Y. Gingras/R. Burke) and Free Willy Hanover (T. Smedshammer) went under the wire together after a stretch-long duel finishing the 1:56.3 mile with a 27.4 final quarter in race four.
Lagerfeld won his second qualifier in 1:56 with a strong rally from a stalking position for Gingras. He rode along in third as The Perfect Lindy set the fractions, fanned out and went by with no encouragement needed from the driver. Bar Hopping impressed in his first outing, closing strongly to be second for John Campbell and The Perfect Lindy held for third. Jimmy Takter trains Lagerfeld for his wife Christina, Herb Liverman and the Fieldings, John & Jim.
After the break sophomore colt trotters resumed the program with Make Or Miss looking very strong in his first outing of the season. Held in third by driver Joe Bongiorno early as Brooklyn Hill set a faster clip than David Miller would have liked, Make Or Miss was fanned wide in the stretch and went by under his own power in 1:54.2. Brooklyn Hill held up well for second with Milligans School and Love Matters both making a good appearance in their seasonal bow. Division leader Southwind Frank was programmed for this qualifier but did not race due to what’s being reported as a quarter crack issue.
Pacers came up in race nine and a good group of sophomore colts and geldings finished across the track in a line with North America Cup-eligibles Voracity and Ideal Rocky together in advance of the six-pack. The mile was 1:52.3 with a 26.4 final quarter. Voracity is on his way to Ontario for trainer Alagna who owns the colt in partnership with Brad Grant and John Fodera while Ideal Rocky is prepping for the New Jersey Sire Stakes for trainer John Butenschoen and owners William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick.
Another North America Cup-eligible, Mindtrip went a good mile this morning, taking over near the half then winning as driver Yannick Gingras pleased in 1:52.4. Tap Into Power closed nicely for second and Highlandbeachycove was an even third, while racing a bit greenly when shown racetrack. Mindtrip hails from the Alagna barn and is owned by the trainer in partnership with Crawford Racing, Sbrocco, Fodera and Massey.
American Ivy was a winner this morning in 1:52.4 for Andy and Julie Miller. She sat second as Blue Moon Stride cut the mile then edged by that one late while staving off the rail rally by Three Dreams. Joe P Racing is the owner.
Mcwicked closed out the day with a 1:50.4 win for Scott Zeron. Mcwicked zipped to the lead early, yielded to In The Arsenal for the middle half then took the rail route back by that rival for the win. In The Arsenal went well in his first qualifier, a solid second. Steve Elliott now trains Mcwicked for the SSG Stables.
The final of the World Harness Handicapping Challenge is tonight, call Rachel Ryan if you want in. Post time for the live card tonight is 7:15 p.m.
To view the charted lines from Saturday's qualifiers, click the following link: Saturday Qualifiers - Meadowlands Racetrack.
(with files from The Meadowlands)