Alagna Wins Five, Venerate Sharp In Meadowlands Qualifier

Meadowlands Racetrack
Published: July 22, 2023 10:36 am EDT

Breakfast With The Babies at The Meadowlands came early on Saturday (July 22) morning, with a first post at 8 a.m. due to stakes commitments across the continent on this busy day.

Sponsored by Jules Siegel’s Fashion Farms, Breakfast With The Babies had conditions that were perfect to begin with track fast, temperature of 71 degrees fahrenheit, and little to no wind. 

Cutler Memorial winner Venerate (Brian Sears) was out for some exercise this morning in a qualifier that also served as a return to the races for last season’s trotting sensation Alrajah One IT (Ake Svanstedt). The result was a very impressive 1:51.1 mile by Venerate who, having been stalked all the way by Alrajah One, turned on the jets for an in-hand :26.4 final quarter to score by five lengths. Alrajah One was valiant in defeat.

Trainer Tony Alagna continued to impress with his seemingly endless parade of talented freshmen, victorious in half of this morning's 10 baby races.

To get things started, a pair of talented Captaintreacherous colts from the Tony Alagna barn squared off for the length of the stretch and ultimately Captain Luke (Dexter Dunn) prevailed over Remember The Alamo (Andy McCarthy) in 1:53.4. The winner, owned by the partnership of Robert LeBlanc, Pryde Stable, Brad Grant and Steve Head, was a $135,000 Lexington buy from breeder Vieux Carre Farms.

Fasnacht Hanover (Todd McCarthy) was Alagna’s second winner of the morning, taking over from an erratic Avellino (Jordan Stratton) before the half. Through a :27.3 final quarter, he won a stretch battle with Pop It (Tim Tetrick) for the 1:54.2 win. Marvin & Lynn Katz share ownership with Brad Grant on the $190,000 son of Stay Hungry, a Hanover-bred Harrisburg yearling.

Winter Soldier (A. McCarthy) survived a furious rally from Longfellow (Sears) and the wire arrived just in time to preserve his perfect record, winning for the third time in as many tries. This was a forwardly placed effort, making the front before the half in :59 and scooting away as they passed the 1:28 third panel. He then lasted in a :29.1 end to the 1:57.1 win. Pete Alagna and Pryde Stables are the owners with Alagna the trainer of the gritty Face Time Bourbon colt, bred by Order By Stable and sold in Lexington for $140,000.

Vocalize (A. McCarthy) was an impressive wire-to-wire winner in 1:56 this morning. Stalked throughout by stable mate Benny J (Dunn), Vocalize rattled off a speedy :57 half, but had enough to hold his challengers at bay through the stretch. Vocalize is another winner from the Alagna barn, owned by Donna Lee, Pryde Stables, Pure Cotton Stables and James Gianuzzi, who gave a mere $30,000 at Lexington for the Father Patrick colt from the Brittany Farms consignment.

In the final two-year-old race of the day, Alagna got his fifth with the Captaintreacherous filly Gifted One (T. McCarthy). McCarthy orchestrated a start to finish score here, setting lively fractions and using a :28.1 end to the 1:53.3 mile to hold off the serious late charge of Debut (Tetrick). The winner, a $180,000 Lexington yearling bred by Brittany Farms and Marvin & Lynn Katz, is owned by Robert LeBlanc, Joe Sbrocco, Brad Grant and Pryde & JAF Racing.

Brian Sears put Lynam S on the lead from the start, set moderate fractions and held sway, despite drifting a bit late, over the fast-closing Edvard Palema S (Ake Svanstedt) through the :29.1 end to the 1:59 mile. The winner is a Greenshoe half brother to Joviality S, bred and owned by Anders Strom as AM Breeding and Courant Inc., and trained by Marcus Melander.

The Norwegian-bred daughter of Googoo Gaagaa, Go For Gaagaa, was a 1:59.3 winner for Yannick Gingras and trainer Per Engblom. She left the gate nicely, settled in behind Volcanic Blue Chip (Svanstedt) as that one cut moderate fraction, slipped out mid-way on the turn then out gamed that rival through a :28.3 final quarter to get the win. Eric Good owns the winner, bred by Rune Hansen and Stall Friends.

Todd McCarthy drove the impressive Walner filly Miss I La to a 1:58.1 win in her second try for owner Ken Jacobs and trainer Noel Daley. It was a pocket trip conversion, as McCarthy settled his charge in behind French Champagne (Svanstedt) through a series of 30-second quarters before fanning off that one as they straightened up and surging by with a :27.4 final quarter. Miss I La was a $275,000 Lexington purchase for Jacobs, bred by Blue Chip Farms and Stefan Melander.

Chris Ryder and Dexter Dunn combined for a winner, this with Tarrific, a Huntsville half-sister to Niki Hill, a filly with which they have enjoyed remarkable success. Today’s trip was from behind, as Dunn sat last of five until calling upon Tarrific on the final bend where she responded by sweeping by the field, then holding safe over the close of Sweet Flowers (Troyce Thomas) through a :27.4 end to a mile in 1:56.2. The winner was bred by Stephen Dey, who retains a stake in the filly with partner Let It Ride Stables.

Live harness racing resumes at The Meadowlands tonight at 6:20 p.m.

(With files from The Meadowlands)

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