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Tall Dark Stranger Shines Bright

Published: June 20, 2020 12:33 pm ET

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Many of the notable qualifiers that typically happen this time of year come from harness racing's two-year-olds as they make their first or second outings of the season. But last year's two-year-old divisional champion Tall Dark Stranger wasn't shy about showing he's back and ready to rumble after his second test of the season.

The 2019 Dan Patch and O'Brien Award winner, Tall Dark Stranger made an emphatic statement at The Meadowlands on Saturday (June 20) winning his qualifier under an absolutely snug hold from driver Yannick Gingras.

Gingras settled Tall Dark Stranger into second behind Pure Rock (Tim Tetrick) through a :27.4 opening quarter before right-lining in advance of the midway point. At a :56.1 half, Tall Dark Stranger made his way to the top and started to separate from the field. Accelerating through that back half, Tall Dark Stranger hit the third station in 1:23 before turning for home all by himself with Gingras' hands at his chest. Despite that firm hold, Tall Dark Stranger still sprinted home in :26 to trip the timer in 1:49 to make him the fastest sophomore pacer of 2020.

Trained by Nancy Takter, Tall Dark Stranger (Bettors Delight - Precocious Beauty) is owned by Crawford Farms Racing of Syracuse, N.Y., Marvin Katz of Toronto, Ont. Caviart Farms of Vienna, Va., and Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, Penn. The multiple Ontario Sires Stake Gold, Metro and Breeders Crown winner captured eight of his nine rookie starts and banked more than $936,000.

In a qualifier loaded with talented three-year-old trotters, Maesteraemon continued to establish himself as a potential star this season. Brian Sears guided Maesteraemon to his second qualifying win of the season holding off pylon-skimming Synergy (Yannick Gingras) and Amigo Volo (Dexter Dunn) in 1:54.

Owned by SRF Stable, Maesteraemon (Andover Hall - Angel Pie) won four of nine starts in 2019 including a sharp 1:52.4 score at The Red Mile in October.

Caviart Ally was back in action following a third-place finish to Kissin In The Sand in her most recent start at The Meadowlands on June 5. Andy McCarthy landed the six-year-old mare on the lead early and no one would get to her wheel after that. Pacing through fractions of :28.4, :57.3 and 1:24.4, the 2019 O'Brien Award winner paced home in :26.4 under no urging to hit the wire in 1:51.

Brett Pelling trains the near double millionaire Caviart Ally (Bettors Delight - Allamerican Cool) for Caviart Farms.

The Saturday session of qualifiers at The Meadowlands also featured 11 dashes for the two-year-olds as the New Jersey track welcomed back its famous Breakfast with the Babies.

For the results from Saturday's qualifying session at The Meadowlands, click the following link: Saturday Results - Meadowlands Racetrack (Qualifiers)

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