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Rookie Royalty At The Meadowlands

Published: July 11, 2020 3:14 pm ET

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High-priced yearlings with regal pedigrees were front and centre during the Saturday (July 11) Breakfast With the Babies qualifying session at The Meadowlands.

Illicit Funds was a wire-to-wire in her first on-track appearance. There is some irony in seeing the full-sister to 2019 Canadian Horse of the Year and Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade campaigned by the connections of Greenshoe, who was of course favoured to win and defeated by Forbidden Trade in the 2019 Hambletonian -- owner Courant Inc. of Delray Beach, Fl, trainer Marcus Melander and driver Brian Sears.

Sears pointed Illicit Funds to the front in her field of five and she landed on the lead early. After fractions of :30, 1:00.2 and 1:30, Illicit Funds trotted home in :28.1 for the 1:58.1 speed badge.

Illicit Funds (Kadabra - Pure Ivory) was a $335,000 Harrisburg yearling.

The most expensive yearling in harness racing history is Maverick, a $1.1 million full-brother to the aforementioned Greenshoe, and he was on-track for his second freshman appearance. With a field of six reduced to four after a pair of scratches, Maverick and driver Andy McCarthy followed Caruso (David Miller) through fractions of :28.3, :58 and 1:27.3 before turning for home. Caruso trotted home in :28.3 and Maverick followed under no urging to comfortably finish second to Caruso, who tripped the timer in 1:56.1.

Maverick's mile was timed in 1:56.3, certainly an effort that trainer Tony Alagna and owner Maverick Racing of Milton, Ont. can look to the bright side of as that one is likely to be pointed to the inaugural Mohawk Million at Woodbine Mohawk Park in two months time.

Before Maverick, the most expensive yearling in North American sales history was $825,000 yearling Detour Hanover -- a sibling to the triple millionaire Donato Hanover and the talented Here Comes Herbie. While Detour Hanover didn't live up to his hefty price tag, the connections of Derailed Hanover have to like what they saw in the Saturday morning test.

A $150,000 Harrisburg purchase, Derailed Hanover (Cantab Hall - D Train) made the front for drier Brian Sears just before the half and pulled away to an impressive 1:57.3 score. Paul Kelley trains and co-owns Derailed Hanover with Jim Simpson and Thomas Pontone.

Pacing filly Odds On Whitney looks to be on her way to making good on her $400,000 Harrisburg purchase price. A 1:55.1 winner of her first qualifier in late June at Gaitway Farm, Odds On Whitney and driver Dexter Dunn sat the pocket behind pacesetting Ideal Chip (Andy Miller) through fractions of :28.1; 57.0; 1:26.2 in her Saturday test before being asked to challenge at that third station. A :27.1 final quarter was more than enough to hit the wire a length to the good of stablemate Lady Midnight (Joe Bongiorno) in a time of 1:53.3.

Sold as Panda Hanover, Odds On Whitney (Somebeachsomewhere - Panera Hanover) is trained by Tony Alagna for owner Odds On Racing of Boca Raton, Fl.

To view the results from the Saturday morning qualifying session, click one of the following links:

» Saturday Results - Meadowlands Racetrack (Baby Races)

» Saturday Results - Meadowlands Racetrack (Qualifiers)


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