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Field Set For Meadowlands Pace

Published: July 5, 2014 8:36 pm ET

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The field for Meadowlands Racetrack's signature $776,000 Meadowlands Pace for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings was determined on Saturday night with a pair of eliminations at the East Rutherford, New Jersey oval.

North America Cup champion JK Endofanera and Hes Watching will lead the way to the rich final after winning their respective $50,000 eliminations and earning their connections the chance to pick their post positions.

Driven by Brian Sears, JK Endofanera swept to the lead down the backstretch and held off the late-closing Always B Miki (David Miller) and pylon-skimming Lyonssomewhere (Yannick Gingras) to win the first elimination by a neck in a career-best 1:48.2. Doo Wop Hanover (Corey Callahan) and National Debt (Ron Pierce) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, also advancing to the final.

"I didn't really know what was going to happen when the gate opened up, I just knew I was going to go forward and take it from there," said Sears in a post-race interview. "I thought I could brush to the front down the backside and I had to use him pretty good. Yannick was pretty loaded up on my back all the way from then on and Dave came at me pretty hard. We had to race, but we don't have to worry about our post position next week so I'm happy about that."

Lyonssomewhere fired off the gate from the outside post eight and established the early lead during the :26.4 opening quarter. After settling away fourth from post six, Sears made his move with 1-2 favourite JK Endofanera during the second panel and cleared to command just past the :54.2 half-mile mark. As they raced to three-quarters in 1:21.3, Doo Wop Hanover applied first over pressure with Always B Miki following second over. JK Endofanera drew clear of Doo Wop Hanover into the stretch and persevered when threatened late in the mile as Always B Miki rallied off cover to place and Lyonssomewhere slipped up the pylons for third.

"This is a nice bunch of colts and they were going to race me," said Sears. "My horse raced game and was good to the wire."

JK Endofanera is a homebred Art Major-Presidential Lady colt, trained by Ron Burke for the New York-based 3 Brothers Stables.

He is now five-for-six in his sophomore season, adding $610,207 to his bankroll. JK Endofanera has also earned wins this year in the Simpson Memorial, Pocono Cup and Somebeachsomewhere Stakes with his only loss a third-place finish in his North America Cup elimination prior to winning the June 14 million-dollar final.

With a 1:51 qualifying tune-up at the Big M on June 27, he paid $2.80 to win in his Pace elimination as the heavy favourite.

"He's a big strong horse and he's done everything we've asked so far," said Sears.

Overcoming an outside post nine starting spot, Hes Watching and catch-driver Tim Tetrick rallied home off a perfect second over trip to win the second and fastest elimination in a career-best 1:48.1. Finishing second through fifth and also advancing to the final are Sometimes Said (Corey Callahan), Luck Be Withyou (Ron Pierce), Jet Airway (Marcus Miller) and Tellitlikeitis (Brett Miller).

"Anytime you throw that much money up they're going to go fast," commented Tetrick after the win. "These are good horses. There's some really nice colts in here and it's a tough group."

Luck Be Withyou and favourite Tellitlikeitis left together off the gate with the latter eventually clearing before the first quarter mark of :26.4. However, second choice Lets Drink On It (Tyler Smith) was on the move early from third and surged to the top down the backstretch, hitting the half-mile mark in :53.4. Meanwhile, Sometimes Said began to advance first over from fourth with Hes Watching and Tetrick picking up the live cover. The field blew by the three-quarters mark in 1:20.4 with Sometimes Said taking over command in the stretch, but Hes Watching sprinted by for the two-length victory.

"[I tried] to put him in play and work out that kind of trip," said Tetrick. "And luckily I fell in a good spot and I got to follow a live horse behind Corey and he led me right up to it and that horse even cleared the leader and made my job real easy."

David Menary trains the American Ideal-Baberhood colt for Menary Racing Inc. of Rockton, Ont., Brad Gray of Dundas, Ont., Michael Guerriero of Puslinch, Ont. and Muscara Racing Trust of Ivyland, Pennsylvania.

Hes Watching earned his second win in five sophomore starts and bumped his seasonal earnings to $183,000. He also won a division of the Somebeachsomewhere and was a runner-up in his North America Cup elimination before finishing third in the final with Tetrick aboard.

"He's very fast and he's smart. You know, he likes to win," said Tetrick. "He was super impressive last year [going undefeated]. I raced against him in some of the Sire Stakes in New York and he definitely looked like a man against boys."

Hes Watching paid $9.80 to win as the 7-2 fourth choice in his Pace elimination.

Tetrick will be aiming for his fourth Pace win from eight drives. "I got a great horse to do it and I like my chances," he said.

Three-year-old pacing fillies also faced off in a single $25,000 elimination for the $212,150 Mistletoe Shalee, which will be part of the Meadowlands Pace Night undercard.

Undefeated in her sophomore season, 3-2 favourite Sandbetweenurtoes and driver Brett Miller prevailed in a win photo over Table Talk (Tim Tetrick) and Gallie Bythe Beach (John Campbell).

The top seven fillies will advance to the final and also include Precocious Beauty (Doug McNair), Act Now (Brian Sears), Allstar Rating (Yannick Gingras) and My Lady Day (David Miller). They will also face Rock N Roll Xample, Uffizi Hanover and Weeper, who all received byes.

My Lady Day sprinted to the lead from post nine and the 118-1 longshot posted a :27-second opening panel with Allstar Rating, Gallie Bythe Beach and Sandbetweenurtoes settling in behind. However, the top four fillies switched up their order during the second panel with Allstar Rating brushing to the top and Gallie Bythe Beach hot on her heels. Gallie Bythe Beach was the new leader by the half in :54.2 with Sandbetweenurtoes moving up next to challenge. Gallie Bythe Beach and Sandbetweenurtoes battled on top past three-quarters in 1:21.3 and into the stretch with the latter eventually edging by and holding off a late-closing Table Talk for the 1:49.1 career-best victory. She paid $5 to win.

After making just one start as a freshman, the Somebeachsomewhere-Als Girl filly is five-for-five this year and has banked $70,141. She is trained by Larry Remmen for Brad Grant of Milton, Ont.

The Meadowlands also hosted the second leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for two-year-olds with Stacia Hanover (Western Ideal-Stolly Up Bluechup) doubling up in the $50,000 filly division in 1:54.1 for driver Scott Zeron and conditioner Steve Elliott. The $26,500 colt divisions were won by the debuting Tony Alagna trainee, Artspeak (Western Ideal-The Art Museum), and Zeron in 1:53.3 and repeat winner Dealt A Winner (Cams Card Shark-Lazan Hanover) in 1:53.4 for trainer Ed Hart and driver David Miller, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at Goshen, New York on Sunday evening.

In other two-year-old racing action, JK Endofanera's full-sister JK Shesalady broke her maiden in 1:53.1 for driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Nancy Johansson and the 3 Brothers Stables.

The post draw results for the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace and $463,000 William R. Haughton Memorial for older pacers (no eliminations necessary) is listed below. The posts for the $212,150 Mistletoe Shalee will be added when available.

$776,000 Meadowlands Pace
1. National Debt - 50-1
2. JK Endofanera - 2-1
3. Hes Watching 5-2
4. Tellitlikeitis - 12-1
5. Luck Be Withyou - 6-1
6. Lyonssomewhere - 8-1
7. Jet Airway - 15-1
8. Sometimes Said - 15-1
9. Always B Miki - 4-1
10. Doo Wop Hanover - 30-1

$463,000 William Haughton Memorial
1. Thinking Out Loud
2. Captaintreacherous
3. Sweet Lou
4. State Treasurer
5. Captive Audience
6. Bettors Edge
7. Bolt The Duer
8. Sunshine Beach
9. Clear Vision
10. Foiled Again

For a recap and replay of tonight's featured $484,350 Hambletonian Maturity, click here.

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