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Venerable, King Of The North Sweep NJSS

Published: July 17, 2021 12:40 am ET

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King Of The North and Venerable both impressed in taking their respective $200,000 finals of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-olds on the trot Friday night at The Meadowlands as Walner continued his dominance in the series by siring both winners.

King Of The North completed his sweep of the three colt and gelding races (two preliminaries plus the final) after following perfect cover from the five-eighths from the first-over Looks Like Moni before driver Mark MacDonald tipped King Of The North off that tow as they turned for home.

The ‘King’ had to deal with a stubborn Looks Like Moni through most of the stretch drive before finally putting that one away inside the sixteenth pole. Temporal Hanover and Majestic J finished well to grab second and third, respectively. Looks Like Moni was fourth. When King Of The North, a colt, stopped the clock in 1:52.4 – a new lifetime best – he was 1-1/4 lengths ahead of his closest pursuer.

“He’s got a good kick,” said winning trainer Ray Schnittker. “They want to go better if they come from off the pace. He’s in the [Peter] Haughton and all of the major stakes moving forward.”

King Of The North paid $6.40 as the 2-1 favourite while staying perfect in three lifetime starts.

Venerable, also three-for-three lifetime, was a dominant winner in the split for fillies as she lowered her previous lifetime best by two seconds to 1:52.2 in completing her three-race sweep. Jiggy Jog S was second with Delilah Hanover third.

Driver Dave Miller was content to sit fourth early with Venerable before darting to the top at the half in :56.3 and the Nifty Norman trainee never had an anxious moment from there, as Miller gave an ultra-confident steer through a final quarter of :27.1 to win by two lengths.

“I talked to Nifty all winter and they were together from the get-go,” said David Mc Duffee when referring to Venerable and Delilah Hanover. Mc Duffee is part of the group that owns both fillies. “They both have the [Jim] Doherty in two weeks. The good thing about Venerable is she’s a Kentucky bred, so she’ll be down there for a while in the sire stakes.”

How does one go about acquiring such good horses?

“It wasn’t hard,” said a smiling Mc Duffee. “All you have to do is spend $600-$700,000.”

Venerable returned $3.60 as the 4-5 public choice.

In a pair of non-betting events contested before the regular program, Great Vintage sired both winners of the $100,000 NJSS Finals for two-year-olds on the pace.

Not So Evil, driven by Pat Berry and trained by Pat’s wife, Traci, completed a sweep of the two preliminary legs as well as the final with a third straight open-length score in the filly division, hitting the wire five lengths to the good over Dry Ridge Cutie in a lifetime-best 1:56.2.

Polaris Breech took the colts and geldings split to record his first win in three lifetime outings for trainer Chase Vandervort. Tim Tetrick guided the gelding to a 5-1/4 length score over Dry Ridge Caldwell in 2:00.2. Vintage Valentino was seeking a three-race sweep of the series but was scratched lame shortly before the start.

Lovedbythemasses rocked the clock in a high-end conditioned trot. The Jeff Cullipher trainee came from off the pace to score in a lifetime-best 1:50.2 to equals Beads’ mark for the fastest trotting mile of the year in the sport.

Racing resumes Saturday with a special early post time of 6 p.m. The $700,000 Meadowlands Pace tops a stakes-laden 14-race program. Fox Sports 2 will have a live telecast of The Pace plus three other stakes events, starting its two-hour presentation at 8 p.m.


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