O'Brien and Dan Patch Award winner Big Jim has been installed as the morning line choice for the $400,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic, which is to take place on Saturday, May 28 at the Meadowlands Racetrack
Big Jim has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favourite for the New Jersey Classic, the first major stakes race of the season for three-year-old pacers and the richest event restricted to New Jersey-sired horses.
The New Jersey Classic and companion $150,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey for fillies are sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. The New Jersey Classic has been carded as Race 6 with an estimated post time of 8:44 p.m., while the Miss New Jersey will be Race 3 and will head to post at roughly 7:41 p.m.
Big Jim opened his sophomore campaign with a 1:51.4 romp on May 21 at the Meadowlands in the New Jersey Classic prep. The son of Western Ideal will start from Post 8 in the final for driver Phil Hudon, trainer James 'Friday' Dean and owner James Carr. Big Jim won six of 10 starts and $827,204 on the way to being named the Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada last season. He capped his freshman campaign with victories in the Breeders Crown and Governor's Cup, the latter in a 1:49.1 World Record.
"He was well in hand," driver Phil Hudon said after the prep. "I didn't want to rev him up too much late. I was just sitting on him. He finished up good and I think he'll have a good year."
After Mohawk Racetrack's $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup, Carr will be pointing Big Jim to the $1 million Meadowlands Pace (July 16). He also plans to take aim at Somebeachsomewhere's 1:46.4 World Record for a three-year-old pacer, set in 2008 at the Red Mile.
"One of my ambitions with this horse is that he is the fastest three-year-old," Carr said. "I think given the right conditions, he can be. We did not test the waters with him as a two-year-old. The last race (Governor's Cup), we just let him go in the stretch, but prior to that, we just raced him fast enough to win."
Krispy Apple heads the field for the $150,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey. Perfect in three starts this season, the daughter of Western Ideal has been rated at 8-5 from Post 3. Tim Tetrick will be her partner in the bike. Mark Kesmodel trains the Matron winner for Jeffrey Bamond and Joseph Davino
The field for the $400,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic:
PP, Horse, Driver, Trainer
1, Shadyshark Hanover, Tim Tetrick, Erv Miller, 3-1
2, Rollem Up, Andy Miller, Joe Holloway, 8-1
3, Lizard King, David Miller, Ross Croghan, 12-1
4, Ru Ready To Rock, Yannick Gingras, Chris Ryder, 20-1
5, High Noon, Ron Pierce, Jimmy Takter, 15-1
6, Doin Time Together, Simon Allard, Lou Pena, 15-1
7, Lookinforadventure, Brett Miller, Bruce Saunders, 12-1
8, Big Jim, Phil Hudon, James Dean, 8-5
9, Grams Legacy, Brian Sears, Jimmy Takter, 5-1
10, Jo Pas Pe III, John Campbell, John Campbell, 20-1
The field for the $150,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey:
PP, Horse, Driver, Trainer
1, I Kill Time, Ron Pierce, Robin Schadt, 8-1
2, Pretty Katherine, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 5-2
3, Krispy Apple, Tim Tetrick, Mark Kesmodel, 8-5
4, Rocklamation, Andy Miller, Mark Harder, 4-1
5, Weekend Update, Andy Miller, Mark Fransen, 12-1
6, So Perfect, Brian Sears, Jimmy Takter, 15-1
7, Honky Tonk Woman, Yannick Gingras, Ross Croghan, 10-1
8, Myluvmylife, Mike Lachance, Joseph King, 15-1
(With files from the Meadowlands)