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Lucky 10 For Lucky Jim In Cutler; Graduate To Shark Gesture


Published: May 16, 2009 10:26 pm ET

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The fairytale continued for Lucky Jim as he extended his streak to 10 wins against the sport's top older trotters in the $200,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial Saturday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Lucky Jim [$2.80, $2.40, $2.40] and driver Andy Miller sat second over behind Enough Talk (Ron Pierce) who pressed Arch Madness (Brian Sears) through hot middle fractions of 55.1 and 1:23.4. As his cover folded, Miller unleashed Lucky Jim who soared to the wire in a stakes record 1:52.1. Corleone Kosmos [$4.00, $4.00] and John Campbell rallied off a third-over trip to finish second, while Michaelrowyourboat [$10.00] and Jimmy Smith closed from sixth to grab the show spot in the night's fifth race.

"He's a good horse and a couple of them wanted to follow him," Miller said, "so I was able to slip out there in the first turn. At the top of the stretch he felt loaded and I was just hoping that he could get me there."

Winless in nine starts at three, Lucky Jim is undefeated since entering trainer Julie Miller's barn in January. His 10-race streak is a record for most consecutive wins in a single season by a trotter at the Meadowlands. Earlier this season, he equaled the 1:51.3 world record for a four-year-old gelding on a mile track. Lucky Jim's victory boosted his career total to 12 in 30 career starts. He has banked more than $250,000 this season, for total earnings of $359,028. Pennsylvanians David and John Prushnok and William Gregg own the four-year-old son of SJs Photo.

Shark Gesture put on a fierce performance to win the co-featured $210,000 Graduate Final for free for all pacers.

Caught wide around the first turn, driver Tim Tetrick and Shark Gesture seized command from Won The West (Greg Grismore) in a swift 54.1 half, leaving Winbak Speed (Pierce) uncovered behind them. Winbak Speed cleared from Shark Gesture entering the far turn and led the charge to the three-quarter marker in 1:21.1. At the head of the stretch, Tetrick angled Shark Gesture out to take on the leader and the two battled stride-for-stride until Winbak Speed finally gave way in deep stretch. Shark Gesture gamely dug in to hold off the late rally of Montecito N (Yannick Gingras) by a half-length in 1:49. He paid $6.20 to win the seventh race of the evening.

"My horse kind of struggles in the turns, especially when he's two-wide," Tetrick said. "I had the opportunity to keep Pierce locked in and I just wanted to be able to beat him to the front, so it worked out good for me. Pierce's horse will kind of wait and take you out of the race and I didn't want him to stop my momentum so I took it right back at him when I got a chance to get out of the turn. He was running Pierce over at the top of the lane, so I went ahead and took it right to him."

Shark Gesture, owned by Norman and Gerald Smiley and TLP Stable, was second in the 2007 Graduate Final. After embarking on a brief stud career in 2008, he was brought back to the racetrack this season by trainer Larry Remmen and has been first or second in nine of 16 starts. Lifetime, the six-year-old son of Cams Card Shark has won 17 of 53 career starts. He surpassed $1.1 million in earnings with the win.

The under card featured the opening round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers. Drop Red, the Berry's Creek runner-up, was a well-rated winner in the first of the three $41,500 divisions. Driven by George Brennan, Drop Red took command off the gate and remained untested through fractions of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:24.4 before accelerating away to a 1 1/2-length victory in 1:52. Vintage Master (Tetrick) and Pair A Dice (Campbell) were second and third, respectively, in the night's second race.

Drop Red improved his record to six wins in 13 starts for trainer Bob Horowitz and co-owner Randy Perry. The son of Red River Hanover-Igottwowordsforyou was a $14,000 yearling purchase at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Redneck Riviera got away fourth out of the gate, brushed to the lead just before the half and held on to win the second sire stakes division in 1:52. With driver Andy Miller in tow, Redneck Riviera held off the late rallies of Poker Shark (David Miller) and Western Posse (Brian Sears) for a 1 3/4-length victory in the third race.

The Perretti Farms-bred son of Red River Hanover-Cape Matteras is undefeated in four lifetime starts for trainer Erv Miller. The colt was a $37,000 yearling purchase at the Standardbred Horse Sale. Owned by Heidi Miller, Carol Reynolds, Benita Simmons and Nick Barbieri, Redneck Riviera boosted his career earnings to $43,050.

In a very game stretch rally, Estero Bay sat a third over trip and exploded up the inside to take the third and final NJSS division in 1:52.4. Driver Eric Goodell guided Estero Bay through the battling Riding The Rapids (Yannick Gingras) and Mr Terry Fra (David Miller) to take the night's fourth race by 1 1/2 lengths.

Also trained by Erv Miller, the son of Western Ideal-Sanabelle Island has now won three of four lifetime starts. Owned and bred by Lloyd Arnold, Estero Bay increased his career earnings to $48,241.

In this week’s edition of the $31,500 Invitational Pace, Riggins and driver David Miller pulled off a 10-1 upset winning by a neck over Southwestern Dream (Campbell) and Camshaft Hanover (George Brennan).

The four-year-old son of Art Major got away fourth from Post 3 as Maltese Artist (Sears) left hard off the gate to grab the top spot. Southwestern Dream pulled the pocket at the first quarter in :28 and he took over from there, but Riggens rolled to the outside and brushed to command. He laid down the remaining panels of :58.3 and 1:22.3 as Camshaft Hanover (George Brennan) applied first-over pressure. Down the stretch, Southwestern Dream squeezed up the rail and Camshaft Hanover fought hard on the outside, but Riggens dug deep and prevailed in 1:50.2 by a neck.

Trained by Casie Coleman for the Bulletproof Entreprises, Riggens notched his third win of the season giving him $88,530 in purses on the year. His 12th career win bumped his toral bankroll to $565,337.

To view Saturday’s results, click here.

(With files from NJSEA)

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