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Million-Dollar Babies Hit The Track

Published: July 31, 2020 12:24 pm ET

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It's not everyday that a million-dollar Standardbred yearling is in action on the racetrack. It seems even more rare, given that there have only been two in harness racing history, that those yearlings would both be on the track on the same card.

Granted, both of those 2019 yearlings are 2020 rookie trotting colts. So the target races for both Maverick and Damien from here on out might have a number of events in common, and these two might make more appearances that force a sharing of the spotlight.

On Friday (July 31) during the Breakfast With the Babies qualifying session at The Meadowlands, $1.1 million yearling Maverick and $1 million yearling Damien were sent postward with the latter making his on-track debut.

The more experienced of the two at this point is Maverick, making his fourth appearance of the year and third at the Big M. Driver Andy McCarthy settled Maverick away in third behind Cartier Bi (Andy Miller) and Boaster Coaster (Jimmy Takter) through fractions of :29.1 and :59 before right-lining and advancing first over through a 1:29 third panel. In the stretch, Maverick responded with good trot in the lane and he pulled away from the first front-runner en route to victory in 1:58. Boaster Coaster was 1-3/4 lengths back in second and Cartier Bi completed the top trio.

Trained by Tony Alagna for Maverick Racing of Milton, Ont., Maverick (Father Patrick - Designed To Be) is a full brother to 2019 U.S. Trotter of the Year Greenshoe.

In the next qualifier, Damien was making his first appearance for trainer Marcus Melander and driver Brian Sears. Damien landed in second behind stablemate Swan Hill (Mattias Melander) early but then made a break after suffering interference at the first quarter. He landed back trotting and recovered well, trotting strongly through the lane with a :29.3 final quarter.

Owned by Brixton Medical Ab of Sweden, Damien (Muscle Hill - Danae) is a full brother to Swedish trotting star Propulsion and the decorated stakes-winning trotting mare Dream Together.

While he didn't sell for $1 million as a yearling, pacer One Eight Hundred did set a new sale record for a pacing-bred yearling at auction with his impressive $800,000 price tag. Yannick Gingras had the son of Somebeachsomewhere - Economy Terror on the move through a :29.1 opening quarter, cleared to the front just after the first station and then powered through panels of :57.3 and 1:25 before sprinting home in :27.3 to win in 1:52.3 at second asking. Both Beach Party (Scott Zeron) and Four More Years (Dexter Dunn) closed well to respectively round out the top three.

One Eight Hundred is owned by trainer Nancy Takter with co-owner Brixton Medical.

Pacing filly Making Waves continues to do just that, winning her fourth qualifier in four outings. Driver Scott Zeron was content to sit the pocket behind Three Way Split (McCarthy) through fractions of :28.3, :58.0 and 1:27.1. Eased to the two path in the stretch, Making Waves responded through a :26.2 final quarter to draw clear of her rivals and trip the timer in 1:53.4.

A daughter of Captaintreacherous - Trim Hanover, and thus a half sibling to standouts American Jewel and Luck Be Withyou, Making Waves is trained by Linda Toscano for Brittany Farms LLC.

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

» Friday Results - Meadowlands Racetrack (Baby Races)

» Friday Results - Meadowlands Racetrack (Qualifiers)

(Photos courtesy Chris Tully, USTA/Mark Hall)


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