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Smilin Eli In NJSS Finals Saturday

Published: May 29, 2013 12:45 pm ET

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Three-year-olds are in the New Jersey Sire Stakes spotlight with a quartet of $150,000 finals on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the Meadowlands.

Among the finalists is an unbeaten son of Muscles Yankee, Smilin Eli, who won both of his New Jersey Sire Stakes preliminary legs. Unraced at two, those victories were in his only two career starts. He has now banked $33,500, with a mark of 1:54.2 taken on a 'sloppy' track in his last outing on May 24 at the Meadowlands.

It has his trainer, 39-year-old Deshawn Minor, not only thinking about Saturday’s final but the $1.5 million Hambletonian on the first Saturday in August (to read Minor's feelings regarding pointing Smilin Eli to the Hambletonian, click here).

Smilin Eli has drawn Post 3 in the New Jersey Sire Stakes final, which has been carded as Race 2. He takes on Super Classic, Corky, King Muscles, Timo Deo, Amalfi Coast and Muscle Mountain, all of which are sons of Muscles Yankee.

The stakes record of 1:52.1 for the colts' division was set by Manofmanymissions in 2011. The gelding record of 1:54.1 has been held by Green Day since 2007.

Three-year-old trotting fillies will head postward in the fourth race, featuring preliminary leg winners Silver Credit and Shared Past, who drew the outside posts in the field of nine. They will take on Time To Kill, Southwind Cocoa, World Tour, Vida De Vie, Vintage Oaks, Miss Steele and Lady Dynamite. Shared Past and Southwind Cocoa are daughters of Chocolatier, while all the others are by Muscles Yankee. The stakes record for fillies is 1:52.4, established in 2006 by Passionate Glide.

Breeders Crown winner Rockin Amadeus, who captured the opening round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes preliminaries for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, drew the rail in the eighth race final.

Emeritus Maximus (Post 5), Real Rocker (Post 6), and Johny Rock (Post 7) are also preliminary round winners.

The finalists, in post order, are Rockin Amadeus, Rocnrolwilneverdie, Rocks N Bonds, Ima Giggity Fool, Emeritus Maximus, Real Rocker, Johny Rock, Rocky Mountain Guy, Lucan Hanover and Wake Up Peter. Rocknroll Hanover is the sire of all the finalists except Ima Giggity Fool (Cams Card Shark) and Lucan Hanover (Western Ideal). Rock N Roll Heaven’s 1:48.3 mile in 2010 is the stakes record for colts. Die Lute’s 1:49.3 in 1999 is the gelding mark.

Seven pacing fillies will face off in the 11th race final. I Luv The Nitelife and Ms Caila J Fra are the preliminary leg winners.

The field, from the rail out, includes I Luv The Nitelife, Authorize, O Narutac Rockette, JK Letitgo, Ms Caila J Fra, Jerseylicious and Panera Hanover. Western Ideal is the sire of Authorize, JK Letitgo, Ms Caila J Fra and Jerseylicious, while the other three are by Rocknroll Hanover. The filly stakes record of 1:49.4 was set by Apple Krisp in 2004.

The 14-race program also features two divisions ($90,450 and $92,950) of the Golden Girls for free for all pacing mares (Race 1 and Race 7) and the $50,000 TVG Free For All, the tenth race.

(With files from the SBOANJ)

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