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"Our Elimination Is Loaded"


Published: July 7, 2011 11:37 am ET

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Roll With Joe has proved to both his trainer and the racing world that he can mix it up with the best of them. Although, the son of Cams Card Shark could have his fill this Saturday in the eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace, and his conditioner knows it. “I like our post position, but our elimination is loaded," trainer Ed Hart has been quoted as saying.

Hart might be soft-spoken, but his reputation for developing champions speaks loud and clear.

Though he has campaigned a roster of millionaires, the 54-year-old trainer from Middletown, New York will look to qualify his first starter in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace on Saturday. Hart will send Roll With Joe, the North America Cup runner-up, out for the first of two $50,000 eliminations for the 'Pace.' The top five finishers in each elim, carded as Race 5 and 6, will advance to the $1 million final on July 16. Roll With Joe will start from Post 5 with Brian Sears in the sulky.

“We get Brian Sears back, which is a great thing,” Hart said. “I like our post position, but our elimination is loaded. It’s definitely a tougher field. Our horse is ready for a good effort and the hardest thing is making the final. This colt can leave fast or you can take him off the gate, yet he’ll only go as fast as he has to go. You have to get after him a little bit.

“I’ve been at the Meadowlands my whole life, since the day it opened,” added the trainer of world champions Four Starzzz Shark, Village Jolt and Space Shuttle. “Just to be in the Meadowlands Pace would be a thrill, but of all the races to win I’d really love to win this.”

Roll With Joe has two wins and two seconds in four starts this season for owners Blue Chip Bloodstock, Winbak Farm, Not To Worry Stable and Stephen Demeter. After winning his 2011 debut at the Meadowlands on May 28, he shipped to Ontario and made a splash in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. He then finished second in the North America Cup eliminations and $1.5 million final and boosted his bankroll this season to $445,000.

“He’s had a pretty good year already,” Hart noted. “He certainly made a statement winning his Somebeachsomewhere division in 1:49.3 (on June 4). Randy Waples drove him three weeks in a row, and despite Post 7 in the North America Cup final, I was pretty confident. I knew the horse was good, and I thought if we got half a trip we had a good shot. Randy got him into the race and with a little luck we might’ve won. Up The Credit was the better horse that night, coming first-up into a :26.3 final quarter.

“I decided to qualify him at the Meadowlands (June 30) to tune him up for this,” he continued. “I had gone about 10 weeks in a row with this horse between racing and training. We were eligible to the Historic and passed that up. I just wanted a good tightener (1:51.2) without stressing him too much.”

Hart had planned to begin Roll With Joe’s three-year-old stakes campaign in the $400,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic on May 28, but a setback in training forced him to enter the colt in a conditioned race that week instead.

“In April, I was training him, he was feeling real good and started kicking,” Hart said. “He cut himself and needed 10 stitches. It set us back a few weeks and that’s why we missed the New Jersey Classic.”

Roll With Joe was a $100,000 yearling purchase at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, PA. The blue-blooded son of Cams Card Shark--Classic Wish is a full-brother to Bettors Delight and half-brother to No Pan Intended. Despite some bumps along the way, he banked $155,377 as a two-year-old and finished first or second in four of his nine starts.

“With his price tag and pedigree there hasn’t really been any pressure training him,” Hart said. “After he was second in the sires stakes final and the Niatross last year, I thought he looked good going into the Wilson eliminations. He drew Post 8, he was hitting the smaller race bike real hard and it just worked out terribly.

“For the Metro final he had Post 7, and I thought he was going to be very good that night. Big Jim made a break on the outside of us, and we got locked in the whole mile. It just didn’t work out and he finished seventh. He finished fifth in his Breeders Crown elimination, but came up sick, so we decided to pull the plug on the season at that point.”

To view the draw results for the Meadowlands Pace eliminations, click here.


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