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Atlanta Scores In 2021 Debut

Published: June 27, 2021 12:53 am ET

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Atlanta made her return to the races a successful one by winning the $40,000 co-featured Open for trotters in her seasonal debut at The Meadowlands Saturday night (June 26).

The 6-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip, who banked just under $750,000 a year ago, looks like she hasn’t lost a step, and appears more than ready to resume her rivalry with Manchego, who has already taken the Cutler and Maxie Lee this season, in the coming weeks.

Atlanta’s best game is playing pursuer rather than the pursued, but driver Yannick Gingras had the Ron Burke trainee closer to the action than usual this time. “The plan was to not leave the gate and then make a move," said Gingras, "but I really did not want to go first-up from fourth.”

When Dovescry, in search of a third-straight score, set sail for the front in the six-horse field and went around Atlanta to grab the top at the quarter in :27. A snail-like :30.3 fraction followed by a panel timed in :29 followed, so three-quarters was reached in a pedestrian 1:26.3.

But Atlanta wasn’t permitting When Dovescry to pull off a natural hat trick by rating another slow middle half and was out and after the leader on the far turn. After they straightened up for the stretch drive, Atlanta trotted home in :26 to record a safe three-quarter-length score. When Dovescry was second with Lindy The Great third. The time for the mile was 1:52.3.

“She’s such a sweetheart,” said Gingras. “I was certainly confident heading into tonight.”

Atlanta, the Meadowlands track-record (1:49.1) holder who is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor, returned $4.40 to win as the 6-5 public choice. She’s now won half of her 52 career starts and earned $2,679,653.

NO NEED TO GET MAD: Angers Bayama pulled off an upset in the $50,000 co-featured Open for pacers, scoring by 2 lengths in 1:49.1 after going a third-over trip.

The 21-1 longshot was flying late to gun down 2-5 favourite This Is The Plan, who became the fastest performer of all-time on a half-mile track in his last start on June 5 with a sizzling 1:47.3 mile at Northfield Park in the Battle of Lake Erie.

“We stayed out of the early rush,” said Dexter Dunn, who piloted Angers Bayama. “I knew there was going to be a bunch of early speed and wanted to see how it would unfold. He felt like he had pace and when I moved him, he really exploded.”

A LITTLE MORE: The Nancy Takter-trained One Eight Hundred appears to be peaking at just the right time with eliminations for The Meadowlands Pace just two weeks away. The 3-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere-Economy Terror upped his seasonal stats to six wins in eight tries with a scintillating 1:48 lifetime-best dazzler (that featured a back half timed in :52.2) in a conditioned event where he faced older foes. He’s now won two straight at The Big M.

Big-time Hambletonian contenders Venerate and Dancinginthedark M left handicappers scratching their heads in the 11th race conditioned trot, as both went off stride to finish ninth and 10th, respectively.

There were no winning tickets sold in the 20-cent Pick-6, creating a carryover of $13,928 for the next race card.

All-source handle totaled $3,136,871.

Racing resumes Friday (July 2) at 6:20 p.m. (EDT).

(The Meadowlands)

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