The first two-year-olds of the 2016 season were featured in four of the seven races during Saturday morning’s Meadowlands qualifiers, which got underway at 9:30 a.m. on a fast track under overcast skies with the temperature in the low 70’s and no wind.
The first was an abbreviated field of five trotters with Bob Key’s homebred Break The Bank K filly Amuses leading all the way to win in 2:01.3, trotting her final quarter in :28.1 for trainer/driver Andrew Harris. Checkmate Time (Scott Zeron) and Running Prayer (John Campbell), both owned by Roy Dobbins and trained by Dennis Laterza, followed her in.
Harris and Key completed the trotting baby daily double with another homebred named Phi Alpha, this one by Cantab Hall, setting all the fractions and winning as he pleased for Andy Miller in 2:02.1 with a :28.1 close. Haloman was second for Ray Schnittker and Mighty Surf third for the Dobbins/Laterza combo.
Livingthedream beat five other pacing fillies in 1:59.2, sprinting home in :27.2 comfortably for the father son duo of Erv and Marcus Miller. She is one of twenty freshman filly pacers eligible to the 2016 New Jersey Sire Stakes program, nineteen of those are by her sire If I Can Dream. Donatos Artist (Yannick Gingras) was a good second for Paul “Stretch” Jessop and his partners.
The best came in the fourth and last of the baby races as Ray Schnittker and Charlie Iannazzo’s homebred Somebeachsomewhere colt Huntsville drew some wows from the small but enthusiastic group in attendance by moving powerfully through the stretch to win in 1:54.2. Schnittker led the way by the :59.1 half with Summer Side then released Machiavelli into a :28 third panel. Jordan Stratton fanned Huntsville off his cover as they straightened up and he cruised by into a :27.1 final quarter well in hand. Western Joe (Gingras) impressed with a solid second for trainer Chris Choate and Summer Side rallied back well to be third.
Summer Side will go through the ring as Hip #4 at the Tattersalls Mixed Sale beginning at noon tomorrow.
Broadway Donna came back for a third qualifier and won again, this time in 1:53.4. Dave Miller held her in a stalking position as Womans Will clicked through a :58 half and three-quarters in 1:26 before tipping out and going by that rival under her own power. Womans Will held tenaciously for Andy Miller and Double Exposure (Tim Tetrick) gained impressively into the :27.4 final quarter to be third. Jim Campbell trains Broadway Donna for the Fashion Farms.
Top rated pacing colt Travel Playlist made a stop at The Meadowlands for his third qualifier in anticipation of the upcoming sophomore stakes season. He sat in behind Bettor Be Steppin through a 1:24.4 three quarters then ripped out of the pocket and went by willingly for Marcus Miller in 1:52. The filly Penpal rallied from back to be a closing second for Pat Lachance and Soulmate Hanover third. The winner is trained by Erv Miller for Blue Chip Bloodstock, Ron Michelon, Taylor Made Stable and Fred Hertrich III.
Live harness racing resumes tonight at 7:15 with the four $100,000 NJSS Finals and Jersey Fest Food Truck Mash Up.
(with files from The Meadowlands)