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Two-Year-Olds Hit The Meadowlands

Published: June 13, 2020 12:27 pm ET

Last Comment: June 13, 2020 2:35 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Typically speaking, The Meadowlands kicks off the two-year-old qualifying season with its popular 'Breakfast With the Babies' events. Under the current distancing restrictions, Saturday's first session was likely closer to 'Babies Without the Breakfast.'

A total of eight baby races were conducted as part of the Saturday qualifying session at The Meadowlands. The first five dashes were carded for the trotters, with the final three for pacers. A number of highly-touted prospects were unveiled, including some that are part of the 2020 TROT Magazine Fantasy Stable, giving fans a rare chance to see some of the two-year-olds perform in advance of Wednesday's contest closing date.

One of those two-year-olds was Ineffable, the highest priced yearling trotting filly of 2019. Driver Brian Sears settled Ineffable into third as May Karp (Lucas Wallin) put up early fractions of :29.4 and 1:00.1. Sears then right-lined Ineffable approaching the third station -- which was tripped by Muscle Dolly (Yannick Gingras) in 1:30 -- and in the stretch Ineffable trotted by to take the lead under minimal urging. She hit the wire a length the best in 1:58 ahead of Muscle Dolly and May Karp.

A daughter of Cantab Hall out of the speedy stakes winner Jolene Jolene, Ineffable was a $600,000 Lexington Yearling Sale purchase by Menhammar Stuteri Ab of Paris, Ky. and SRF Stable of Lighthouse Point, Fl. Marcus Melander trains.

Trotting colt Spy Booth was one of the highest priced yearlings of 2019, and he made his debut impressively on Saturday. Driver Yannick Gingras landed Spy Booth into third early through a :31.1 first quarter, then moved his charge to the front down the backstretch. After posting midway fractions of 1:01.2 and 1:31.2, Spy Booth opened up on his rivals under minimal encouragement to win by two lengths over Incentive (Sears) in 1:59.3.

Spy Booth (Muscle Hill - Amour Heiress) is a full-brother to speedy 2019 two-year-old King Alphonso and the second foal of his dam. He was a $460,000 Harrisburg yearling sale purchase by Ontario's John Fielding, David Anderson, and Marvin Katz along with Canadian expat Robert Leblanc of Austin, Tx. Per Engblom trains.

On the pacing side, many of the two-year-olds on display were homebreds or private purchases. That certainly appeared to be the case for the fastest pacer of the morning, Billy Clyde. Driver Mark MacDonald was fifth and last with Billy Clyde as Red Right Hand (Nancy Takter) fronted the field through a :31 opener. MacDonald then asked Billy Clyde to pick up the pace down the backside, and he responded with a rush to the lead and cleared after hitting the half in 1:00. Billy Clyde wasn't content with that tempo and reeled off a pair of in-hand :27.3 quarters to win by two in 1:55.1, two lengths better than an unhurried Red Right Hand.

A son of Always B Miki from the former Ontario-based competitor Jan It Jackson, Billy Clyde is owned by his breeder Dr. John Egloff along with his trainer Ray Schnittker.

Always B Miki offspring swept the pacing session, with Nancy Takter trainees Always A Miki (1:56; Yannick Gingras) and JK Alwaysbalady (1:57; Gingras) also winning on Saturday.

After the baby races concluded, some of harness racing's more established stars were in action. Treacherous Reign wasn't asked until the final stanza of her qualifying mile, and she responded with a sharp :26.4 final quarter to win by a half length. Dexter Dunn was in the sulky for trainer Tony Alagna and owners Alagna Racing LLC, Big Als Stables, Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham.

Making his third qualifier of the season, Bettors Wish showed he's ready for a possible start in next week's Graduate Series leg with an effortless coast-to-coast 1:49.2 qualifying win under a firm hold to driver Dunn. Chris Ryder trains and co-owns the 2019 Dan Patch Award winning Bettors Wish along with Bella Racing Ltd., Fair Island Farm Inc., and Bettors Wish Partners.

For the results from Saturday's qualifying session at The Meadowlands, click one of the following links:

» Saturday Results - Meadowlands Racetrack (Baby Races)

» Saturday Results - Meadowlands Racetrack (Qualifiers)

June 13, 2020 - 2:35 pmBettors Wish finished 4th in

Mike Mobley SAID...

Bettors Wish finished 4th in his first qualifier, on May 30. 2019 LBJ winner Southwind Ozzi finished 3rd in that same race, which was also his first qualifier of 2020, but he hasn't qualified again since then, nor is he entered in an upcoming qualifier. I presume that Ozzi will race in The Graduate next Sunday at Tioga, but I can't believe that he would be given 7 months off, participate in a single qualifier, take another 3 weeks off, and then be entered in a stakes race. Has anyone heard from Bill MacKenzie as to what's going on with his horse?


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