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Favourites Dominate Classic Series Divisions


Published: May 1, 2009 10:58 pm ET

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There were no surprises Friday night when trotters took center stage in leg two of the Classic Series at the Meadowlands.

Buck I St Pat coasted to a 1:52.3 victory in the first of two $60,000 Trotting Oaks splits for fillies and mares, her second straight win since returning from a tendon injury. With Tim Tetrick in the sulky, Buck I St Pat made the top in a :27.2 opening quarter and breezed through middle fractions of :55.3 and 1:25.3 before trotting home in :27.1.

Sent off the 1-5 favourite, Buck I St Pat paid $2.40. Spice Queen (Brian Sears) and Autumn Escapade (David Miller) were the best of the rest.

Buck I St Pat suffered a tendon injury last July that kept her on the sidelines for nearly nine months. Despite her abbreviated campaign, she secured divisional honours with a record of 10 wins in 14 starts and earnings in excess of $400,000. She returned to the racetrack on April 6 with a third-place finish in the first leg of the Classic Series at Dover Downs.

"She's really turned around," Tetrick said. "Her first start back was on a bad track and there were slow fractions up front. She still raced pretty good coming off the pace [in that race]. The last two starts, she's really come back into her own. She's as good as she's ever been."

Tetrick will accompany the 2008 Trotting Mare of the Year to Sweden's Solvalla Racetrack in late May to compete in the famed Elitlopp.

"I'm happy to get invited with her," he said. "They're going to race to win and so am I. I've got a good horse and they've got a lot of great ones over there. It should be interesting, but hopefully I come out a winner."

Buck I St Pat has now won 33 of 59 career starts and more than $1 million for trainer Ron Burke and owners Ron Fuller, Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold and Abe Basen. Taylor indicated after the race that the six-year-old mare would likely make her next start in the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial eliminations next Friday, May 8.

Falls For You did not disappoint either, winning the second Trotting Oaks division under wraps in 1:53.1 for driver Brian Sears and trainer Trond Smedshammer. The 3-5 bettor's choice, Fall For You posted her second win in four starts this season as she bested Classic Lane (David Miller) by two lengths. Lifetime, the five-year-old daughter of Yankee Glide has won 16 of 49 starts and $1.2 million for owners Ted Gewertz, Fair Winds Farm and Willow Pond.

Sears and Smedshammer returned to the winner's circle with Arch Madness in the $85,000 Trotting Classic, the last of the three stakes events. Favoured at 4-5, Arch Madness cleared the lead from Misterizi (Tetrick) past the quarter and held off Four Starz Speed (Yannick Gingras) for a 3/4-length tally in 1:52.4. Enough Talk (Ron Pierce) closed from seventh at the head of the lane to finish third.

Owned by Marc Goldberg and Willow Pond, Arch Madness improved his record to 15 wins in 38 career starts. The five-year-old Balanced Image gelding boosted his bankroll to $1.7 million.

"He's a gutsy guy," Smedshammer noted. "He can come first up. Tonight, he looked like he was the best, so Brian put him on the front end."

As for whether the Elitlopp could also be on the schedule for Arch Madness, Smedshammer said, "I have to talk it over with his owners. They had originally planned to go, but they changed their plans a couple of weeks ago when it looked like it would take a couple of weeks for him to get into shape. He's getting into shape right now, so I don't know if we are going to stick to our plan of not going. I have to discuss it with them."

In pacing action, North America Cup eligible Built To Drive revved his engine in the $15,000 eighth race for trainer and co-owner George Teague, Jr. The three-year-old son of Dragon Again, who is rated at odds of 80-1 in Trot Magazine’s Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book, notched his third win in a row and posted a new mark of 1:50.3 with Brian Sears in the bike.

Leaving from Post 6, Built To Drive reached the front before the first quarter in :27.4. The 9-5 favourite maintained a comfortable lead as he rolled past the half in :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.2. Using a :27.1 final frame, Built To Drive was able to hold on by a head for the win over Golden Receiver (Tetrick) while Poker Shark (Daniel Dube) rounded out the top three.

K And R Racing LLC of Houston, Delaware shares ownership of the four-time winner who has banked $47,122 in his career.

To view Friday’s results, click here.

(With files from NJSEA)

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