As a number of harness racing's top performers from 2019 were out at The Meadowlands for qualifying activity on Friday (June 5) one of the sport's more established stars showed he's not ready to give up the headlines just yet.
2015 U.S. Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit was making his first appearance at The Meadowlands since October 2016 and he showed he still knows his way around the one-mile oval. With regular pilot Montrell Teague at the controls, Wiggle It Jiggleit forged his way to the front over a hard-leaving Macintosh N (Shawn Vallee) and landed on the lead after a :28.1 opening quarter.
Through middle panels of :55.3 and 1:24.3, Wiggle It Jiggleit maintained control but faced pressure in the stretch from a first-over Runrunjimmydunn N (Jim Marohn, Jr.) Digging deep, Wiggle It Jiggleit showed his backclass and hit the wire first in a time of 1:51.1.
A winner of 39 races with more than $4.089 million in career earnings, the eight-year-old Wiggle It Jiggleit (Mr Wiggles - Mozzi Hanover) is trained by Clyde Francis for George Teague Jr Inc. of Harrington, Del. and Teague Racing Partnership of Boynton Beach, Fl.
Two-time Dan Patch Award winner Warrawee Ubeaut made her second appearance of the season, and she was ultra-impressive against many of her rivals from last season. Driver Yannick Gingras settled the four-year-old pacing mare into third as Tall Drink Hanover (Andy McCarthy) carved out fractions of :29.2, :57.4 and 1:25.2. Gingras right-lined Warrawee Ubeaut in the stretch into the three-wide path around both pacesetter Tall Drink Hanover and her pocket-sitting stablemate Treacherous Reign (Dexter Dunn). Through a sizzling :25.1 closing panel, Warrawee Ubeaut found the wire a neck ahead of her rivals with the mile clocked in 1:51.1. Tall Drink Hanover held second over Treacherous Reign.
Trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phil Collura, JandT Silva Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Warrawee Ubeaut (Sweet Lou - Great Memories) sports a summary of 19-3-5 from 31 starts with more than $1.7 million in career earnings.
Another four-year-old making a statement on Friday morning was NYSS star Hickfromfrenchlick. Making his third appearance of the season -- but first qualifying appearance of 2020 at The Meadowlands -- Hickfromfrenchlick was keen on his work for driver Mark MacDonald, leading a field of talented foes through fractions of :28, :56.3 and 1:234 before sprinting home in :26 to trip the timer in a brisk 1:49.4. Pocket-sitting Dancin Lou (Tim Tetrick) was a half length back while U.S. divisional winner Bettors Wish (Dexter Dunn) was third, back three lengths and under no urging.
Ray Schnittker trains and co-owns Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal - My Girls A Star) along with Nolamaura Racing LLC and Thomas Spatorico. As a three-year-old Hickfromfrenchlick was never worse than third, posting a sparkling 11-3-1 record from 15 starts.
Qualifying action continues on Saturday (June 6) at The Meadowlands with an additional 13 dashes.
For the results from Friday's qualifying session at The Meadowlands, click the following link: Friday Results - Meadowlands Racetrack (Qualifiers).