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Tough Challenger Edges Take My Picture In Mr Muscleman


Published: May 21, 2010 11:42 pm ET

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Tough Challenger and driver John Campbell got up in the final strides to win the $52,000 Mr Muscleman Final on Friday night at Meadowlands Racetrack.

Tough Challenger settled into fourth place early on, cruising behind the leaders for much of the race. After hitting the half-mile marker in :57.1, Take My Picture (Andy Miller) charged up the outside and inherited the lead from an off stride Oh No Its Steveo (Yannick Gingras). Tough Challenger chased down Take My Picture past the three-quarter marker and the two horses battled stride-for-stride down to the wire. Tough Challenger pulled through to win by a neck in 1:55.4 and paid $9.00 to win.

“I settled in fourth on the rail and didn’t have to move him until just past the half,” said the winning driver, John Campbell. “I was able to follow Andy Miller and that horse raced really well last week [Take My Picture] and I knew he was one of the ones to beat.

“He took me right into the stretch and he was difficult to get by, but we were able to grind him down,” he added.

Tough Challenger has now won nine of 12 career starts and $88,525. The three-year-old You Betcha colt is owned by Nanticoke Racing Inc. of Seaford, and James Morand of Dover, Delaware.

The second leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for three-year-old filly pacers was contested earlier in the evening. Naughtytiltheend, driven by Tim Tetrick, nipped the pacesetter Full Picture (Richie Silverman) at the wire to win the $35,600 first division in a swift 1:51.1. An $80,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Selected Sale she is by Western Ideal out of millionairess and Breeders Crown champion Cam Swifty. Mark Harder trains Naughtytiltheend for Mark Winship of Canton, Illinois and Peter Spaeth of Las Vegas, Nevada.

BJs Mayreau turned in a game first over effort to win the $35,600 second division in 1:52 with Brian Sears in the sulky. The daughter of Artsplace-Dream Catcher is now perfect in two career starts for trainer Jeff Webster. Owner Brian Nixon of Centerport, New York purchased the filly as a yearling for $15,000 at Harrisburg.

The $200,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship for three-year-old colt and filly pacers is Saturday, May 29

Friday's $32,000 Mares Invitational went to Laughandbehappy, the winner of the White Ruffles and Night Styles Series finals earlier this year. She sprinted home in :27-seconds to trip the timer in 1:49.2 for driver John Campbell and trainer Jeff Webster. The four-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover, who has won seven of her 12 starts this year and $123,536, is owned by the Let It Ride Stables of Delray Beach, Robert Cooper Stables LLC of Boca Raton, Florida and Jerry Silva of Long Beach, New York. Favourite Chancey Lady (Tim Tetrick) finished three-quarters of a length behind and Sportsfancy (Brian Sears) was third.

To view Friday's results, click here.

(With files from Meadowlands Racetrack)

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