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Stars To Align Saturday At The 'Big M'

Published: April 30, 2019 10:29 pm ET

Last Comment: May 2, 2019 9:10 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Meadowlands Racetrack will open the 2019 Championship Meet with several champions making appearances in stakes competition on Saturday, May 4.

On hiatus since finishing eighth in the Matron final, North America Cup winner Lather Up debuts in the first division of the Graduate Series opening preliminary. Surpassing $1 million in earnings with a second-place finish in the Breeders Crown, Lather Up enters off three qualifiers, breaking stride in his most recent but still posting a 1:52.3 mile with a :27.3 final quarter. The Clyde Francis-trained son of Im Gorgeous, who races for owners Gary and Barbara Iles, starts from post seven in the 12-horse field—going one-and-one-eighth miles—with regular pilot Montrell Teague behind.

Ron Burke trainee Dorsoduro Hanover makes his four-year-old debut against Lather Up off a $1.2-million campaign as a three-year-old. Winning the Breeders Crown, Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship and Adios while finishing second in the Meadowlands Pace and the Little Brown Jug, the Somebeachsomewhere stallion qualified twice—his most recent a 1:52.1 mile—since last racing on Nov. 29 in the Progress Pace. Matt Kakaley drives from post five for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Jerry and Theresa Silva Stables, Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Wingfield Brothers LLC.

Will Take Charge returns to the $175,200 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial after finishing second by a neck to Hannelore Hanover last year. The six-year-old Kadabra stallion has raced thrice in 2019—winless in each bow against Open company at Yonkers Raceway. Jeff Gillis trains the millionaire trotter who represented Canada in the $1,000,000 International Trot last season and finished seventh to Cruzado Dela Noche, who starts from post three in the Cutler. Scott Zeron will drive from post five in the mile-and-an-eighth affair.

Little Brown Jug- and Meadowlands Pace-champ Courtly Choice returns to the track in the second Graduate split from post two. The four-year-old Art Major stallion, slated to stand at Winbak Farms late last season, reentered the training regiment poised for the aged stakes ranks. Earning nearly $1 million with his Grand Circuit campaign last year, the Blake MacIntosh trainee resurfaced at Woodbine Mohawk Park on April 11 with a 1:53 qualifier and followed a week later with a 1:50.4 mile. Regular driver David Miller sits in the bike in the 12-horse competition.

The 13-race card begins on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. (EDT). The Graduate Pace splits go as Races 7 and 11 while the Cutler Memorial goes as Race 9.

May 2, 2019 - 9:10 amIt's a shame that both

Mike Mobley SAID...

It's a shame that both divisions of The Graduate (along with The Cutler) will be raced at the odd distance of 1 1/8 mile rather than at the customary mile. Had they been 1-mile races, they almost certainly would have been the fastest miles paced so far in 2019.


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