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Ariana G Stars In Sire Stakes Finals

Published: June 2, 2017 11:25 pm ET

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After winning an unprecedented three straight Hambletonian Oaks, how could Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter possibly top it? Her name is Ariana G.

The three-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill might be even better than those three fillies after she left jaws dropped with a 1:51.1 stroll in the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes final on Friday night (June 2) at The Meadowlands.

Long Tom, Every Way Out, and Misqued also won their $100,000 Sire Stakes finals on a warm, late spring evening.

Yannick Gingras moved Ariana G to the lead past an opening quarter mile in :27.3. From there, Gingras was just a passenger through a Sire Stakes record final time that was just two-fifths of a second off the track record.

"She's coming back scary good," said Takter in the winner's circle after the race. "We still have 60 days to Hambletonian Day. Yannick said if he let her go she would have gone [1]:49. Hopefully I haven't peaked her too soon. I would say at this point, she could be the most talented one I have developed."

Ariana G is owned and was bred by Marvin Katz of Toronto and Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ont.

Two races later, Long Tom officially threw his hat into the Hambletonian picture with an impressive front-end score in 1:52.2 to win the $100,000 trotting colts division. King On The Hill won the place photo over 3-5 favourite What The Hill.

Long Tom was a stakes winner last year at Lexington and is now two-for-two as a sophomore. With stablemate Enterprise, who is three-for-three in 2017, 25-year-old trainer Marcus Melander has a potent 1-2 punch on the road to the first Saturday in August.

"Long Tom got sore after Lexington last year and then grew a lot over the winter," explained Melander, whose uncle Stefan won the Hambletonian in 2001 with Scarlet Knight. "I was only nine years old when Scarlet Knight won so I don't remember much, but hopefully I can get another Hambletonian for the family."

Every Way Out completed his sweep of the pacing colts division with a five-length win in 1:52. The If I Can Dream gelding paid $2.10 for the third straight week. Tim Tetrick, who won four of the night's 11 races, piloted the winner for trainer Dylan Davis.

The only Sire Stakes upset came in the three-year-old pacing filly division when 1-5 favourite Colorful Jasmine faded to finish fourth while 7-2 second choice Misqued held off the late charge of Livinginthedream in 1:53.3. Misqued was driven by Steve Smith for trainer John Balzer.

The Ron Burke stable's Gural Hanover and Yannick Gingras held off entrymate Opulent Yankee for a 1:51 win in the $20,000 Preferred Trot.

Total handle on the 11-race card was $2,420.245. Racing resumes Saturday night. Post time is 7:15 p.m.

Beer Fest Set For June 10

On Saturday, June 10, the beer will flow at Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment for the 2nd Annual Spring Beer Fest. Doors open for VIP at 4:30 p.m. with General Admission at 5:30 p.m. and beer is poured until 9:30 p.m. Fest-goers will experience an evening of the best craft beer, cider, live harness racing, music and food the Garden State has to offer.

Over 30 breweries and cideries are participating including Devil’s Backbone, who is providing specialty casks and small batch beers for VIP tasters in addition to its flagship beers available to all ticket holders. NJ favourites Beach Haus, Cricket Hill, 902 Brewing Company, Forgotten Boardwalk, Cypress Brewing and Melick’s Hard Cider will also be at the festival. Other breweries and cideries attending the festival include: Breckenridge, Red Hook, Elysian Brewery, Golden Road, Virtue Cider, Goose Island, Blue Point, Kona, Crispin cider, Terrapin, Coney Island, Captain Lawrence Brewing, Sweetwater Brewing, Boulevard Brewing, Keegan Ales, DuClaw, Coronado Brewing and Atwater Brewing. A complete list of breweries and the full beer lineup will be posted at the week of June 8.

The VIP ticket is $75 and includes an additional one hour of sampling, exclusive VIP Tent beer samplings, and food. General Admission is available in advance for $35 or at the door for $45. To purchase tickets, click here.

Fans can enjoy the Belmont Stakes simulcast with post at 6:37 p.m. and live racing with first post at 7:15 p.m.

(With files from Meadowlands Racetrack)

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