Sister Sledge threw her hat into the ring as a big-time contender for the Hambletonian Oaks with a dominant performance in one of three Tompkins Geers divisions at The Meadowlands Saturday night (July 25).
In the second of two splits for three-year-old trotting fillies, driver Yannick Gingras was patient early with Sister Sledge, vacating the three-hole after the quarter and clearing the top at the half in :55.4.
The daughter of Father Patrick-Behindclosedoors sailed home as much the best from there, hitting the wire in 1:51.2, lowering her previous lifetime best by one-and-four-fifth seconds. It was four-and-three-quarter lengths back to Ms Savannah Belle. Dubai Princess was third.
The Ron Burke trainee, who paid $2.80 to win as the 2-5 public choice, upped her lifetime stats to 11 wins in 16 starts, good for earnings of $622,058.
Caviart Eva pulled a big upset at odds of 30-1 in the first filly division, gunning down 2-5 favorite Next Level Stuff by a nose in 1:52.1, a lifetime best for the Trixton-Caviart Elle product who was driven by Andy McCarthy for trainer Nancy Takter.
In the lone dash for colts and geldings, 10-1 chance Rome Pays Off (Muscle Hill-Order By Wish), driven by Mattias Melander for his brother Marcus, scored in a lifetime-best 1:52.3, possibly punching his ticket to take a shot in The Hambletonian. Play Trix On Me, the 3-2 favorite, was two-and-three-quarter lengths behind at the wire to finish second.
BIG CARRYOVERS FRIDAY: No winning tickets were sold in two of the track’s popular multi-leg wagers, setting up a pair of carryovers sure to titillate players when racing resumes Friday night.
Despite 4-5 favourite Caviart Rockland winning the final leg, no one held a winning ticket on the 20-cent Pick 5, which led to a carryover of $52,665. "Big M" management announced that a guaranteed pool of $150,000 will be offered next week for the wager with the low 15-percent takeout. The odds of the winners for the first four legs were 8-1, 10-1, 5-1 and 30-1. The pool total was $82,618, and those who had four out of five cashed in for $103.72.
The 30-1 shot–Caviart Eva in the fourth race–was the key to both carryovers, as she began a 20-cent Pick-6 sequence that saw the following five winners score at odds of 4-5, 2-5, 10-1, 12-1 and 4-5. The Pick-6 pool, which totaled $21,226, will have a carryover of $13,524, with much more expected to be pumped through the windows next week. Those who went five for six got back $126.10.
A LITTLE MORE: Gingras led the driver’s colony with four winners on the night. He and Dexter Dunn finished the weekend with five victories apiece and are tied for the top spot in the driver standings with 77 winners each.
For a third-straight time, wagering in the Late 50-cent Pick-4 exceeded the $100,000 mark, as $103,746 was put in play.
All-source wagering totaled $2,767,603.
Check out The Meadowlands Facebook page on Tuesday (July 28) at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) as Jessica Otten will host the live post-position draw for the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks eliminations, which take place Saturday night (Aug. 1).
Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. (EDT).