Hambletonian hopefuls Big Chocolate, Vic Smith and Guccio all visited the winner’s circle in the first round of New Jersey Sire Stakes action for three-year-old trotters on Friday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack
Big Chocolate, with David Miller at the lines, got up by a head over Market Share to win the fastest colt division in 1:54.3. The Homer Hochstetler trainee is now two-for-two this season. Last season as a two-year-old, Big Chocolate hit the board in nine of 11 races and earned $201,560. His victories included a division of the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile and an elimination for the Peter Haughton at the Meadowlands. Richard Keys of Chicago, Illinois bred and owns the son of Chocolatier-Shez Mine.
Vic Smith, who bested Big Chocolate by nearly five lengths in last year’s NJSS final, took the first of Friday night’s $17,000 divisions in 1:55.3 with Andy Miller in the sulky. Margareta Carlberg’s Mea Trav Inc. of East Windsor, New Jersey acquired the colt on March 28 from Miller, his wife, Julie, who continues to train the colt, and their partner Larry Baron. Vic Smith won six of 11 races and earned $213,275 last season. The son of Yankee Glide-PJ Naomi was a $30,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Selected Sale.
Guccio romped to an easy 1:55.1 victory in the remaining split with driver-trainer Jimmy Takter in tow. A son of Yankee Glide out of the mare Southern Senorita, Guccio was a $50,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Selected Sale by Christina Takter and brothers John and Jim Fielding of Toronto. The colt earned $59,585 in seven starts last year. His lone win was a 1:55.4 score off a pocket trip in the Champlain Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack.
All three victors are eligible to the $1.5 million Hambletonian on Saturday, August 4 at the Meadowlands.
Muscles Yankee daughters Shanty Irish and Talbotcreek Jewely captured the NJSS splits for sophomore fillies. Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi’s Shanty Irish rebounded from a miscue in her sophomore debut with a hard-fought victory in rein to Brian Sears. Talbotcreek Jewely, with Tim Tetrick at the lines, improved off her effort in the Simpson to post her first win of the year. Linda Toscano is training the lass for her Canadian connections, Paula Wellwood and Karen Caroll.
To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Meadowlands Racetrack.