O'Brien Award winning filly American Jewel took to the track on Saturday morning at Meadowlands Racetrack for her first qualifier of the season, along with a host of other harness racing stars
Jimmy Takter trainee American Jewel teamed up with Tim Tetrick and advanced to command from third after the opening quarter of :29.2. She cleared by the :58.3 half and rolled by three-quarters in 1:26 en route to a 1:53.4 score. Brittany Farms' world champion filly defeated New York Sire Stakes Championship runner-up JK Fine Art by one and a half lengths.
American Jewel won eight of her nine starts at two finishing second in the other while banking $669,291. Her major stake wins included divisions of the Eternal Camnation, Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, and Bluegrass Series, as well as the Shes A Great Lady Stake in a world record 1:50.3. The American Ideal filly suffered a fractured sesamoid bone in her only loss at the end of the season to Big McDeal in the International Stallion Stakes, but Takter recently commented that the injury healed very well.
“It was a very good qualifier for her first time,” Takter told Harness Racing Communitcations afterwards. “It was great. We had an open bridle and she was looking around a little bit, but she was very good.
“I’ll probably qualifier her one more time next Saturday. Then she’s got a race up in Vernon. But we’ll see what happens.”
Takter trainees dominated the qualifying session with Champlain Stakes winner Guccio edging out stablemate Nothing But Class in 1:56.1; Little Brown Fox hanging on for a 1:55.4 score; Goldsmith Maid runner-up Superstar Hanover clocking a 1:57.4 mile; On The Bright Side coming on to win in 1:56.4; Time To Roll scoring a narrow 1:52.2 win over fellow North America Cup eligibles Major Bombay and I Fought Dalaw; and Eternal Camnation winner Romantic Moment edging out Jk Owhatanite and McSauna in 1:53.4.
Metro Pace champion Simply Business, another top ranked colt trained by Takter, finished fourth in his seasonal debut behind fellow Cup eligible colts Mcerlean, Hurrikane Kingcole and 1:52.1 winner Pet Rock and driver Brian Sears. Cup eligible Bettors Edge finished fifth. Pet Rock, a nose runner-up to I Fought Dalaw in the New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship last year, has now won four consecutive qualifiers for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr.
“It was a great day,” added Takter. “Simply Business was very good. Pierce was very happy with him.”
O'Brien Award nominee We Will See made his own seasonal debut a winning one for driver Ron Pierce and trainer Sam DePinto during the morning session. The five-year-old double millionaire sat a pocket trip through fractions of :28.3, :57.1, and 1:25.2 before taking over command and drawing off by more than five lengths with a :27.1 final frame. He stopped the clock in 1:52.4, winning over New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship winner High Noon.
We Will See won 11 of 23 races last year and banked over $1.2 million for owners Shannon DePinto, Earl Smith, and J And T Silva Stables LLC. Among his wins were the Ben Franklin, Canadian Pacing Derby, Allerage, and U.S. Pacing Championship where he took his mark of 1:47.2.
“I thought he went great,” DePinto told Harness Racing Communications. “He was well within himself and Ronnie was real happy with him; said everything was good. I’m going to come back next week and give him another qualifier and then we’ll enter him.
“This was a perfect qualifier for what he’s done coming into this. I trained him at the farm in :56, so today in :52 didn’t hurt him. It was a nice little tightener; a little at a time.”
Multiple stakes winner Jezzy, trained and driven by Ray Schnittker, won her second consecutive qualifier in 1:56 off a pocket trip beating out the Trond Smedshammer-conditioned millionaire Dejarmbro by three-quarters of a length in is his 2012 debut. O'Brien Award nominee Cedar Dove, last year's Kentucky Filly Futurity and Breeders Crown winner, finished fifth for trainer Noel Daley, clocking her second qualifying mile in 1:57.3.
Another O'Brien Award nominee qualified this morning at Hoosier Park. Cup eligible colt A Rocknroll Dance romped to a five and three-quarter length victory in 1:53.2 (:26-second final quarter) in his second qualifier this year with Peter Wrenn driving for trainer Jim Mulinix. The multiple stakes winner is owned by Mulinix, Denny Miller, and Jerry and Theresa Silva.
To view Saturday's qualifying results, click on the following link: Saturday Results (Qualifiers) - Meadowlands Racetrack.