With the Meadowlands Pace eliminations complete, The Meadowlands' Bob Heyden has doled out the final edition of the Road to this year's Meadowlands Pace.
The post position draw for the $1.1. million Meadowlands Pace Final will take place this Tuesday. The elimination winners earned the right to pick their respective posts for the final.
1. Somebeachsomewhere (1-5)
Uncorked a devastating 1:48.3 score-first time at The Meadowlands in winning his elim. The effort was one fifth of a second off the consolation mark for the Pace set by P Forty Seven in 2005 (1:48.2). Now 10-for-10, Somebeachsomewhere is set to become the second horse in history to win two races valued at over $1 million. Nihilator was the other (1985-1985). Paul MacDonnell is in position to win his very first win in the Pace final, this after having won the consolation (1997 - Village Jove) and an elimination (1998 – Rustler Hanover). Mach Three and his prized son Somebeachsomewhere are poised to become the first ever father-son combo to each win a pair of $1 million races.
2. Badlands Nitro (5-1)
A fast-closing third in his elimination, and he's the richest horse in the field for 2008. He's one of five homebreds trying for the big cash. George Teague will try and do what was last done by Bill Robinson (1993-1994). He'll try to win the Meadowlands Pace back-to-back. Bill did it with Presidential Ball and Cams Card Shark. George upset the apple cart last year at 5-1 with Southwind Lynx. Sears, who has had three Meadowlands Pace favourites in his five appearances, will try and win his second Pace (2005 Rocknroll Hanover) with the likely second choice.
3. Bullville Powerful (8-1)
One of two sons of 2001 Pace favourite Bettors Delight in here. He just missed in his elimination after ponying up $100,000 via the supplemental route. Owner Crevani Farms is looking for its first $1 million race win. Steve Crevani was training at The Big M long before the first-ever $1 million event (1980 – Niatross - $1,011,000). Yannick Gingras is four years removed from his first Pace assignment, and that was a good one (Timesareachanging).
4. Sand Shooter (10-1)
Tim Tetrick is trying to become the first driver to win his first two Pace drives. Only George Brennan was first and second in his first two assignments (won 1996 edition with Hot Lead and was second in 1998 edition with Fit For Life). The last driver to win the Pace back-to-back was John Campbell (2001-2002) with Real Desire and Mach Three. Jim Arledge Jr. was the caretaker of Dutch Treat, the 1981 runner-up in the Meadowlands Pace consolation for Joe Adamsky.
5. Share The Delight (12-1)
Linda Toscano became the first female trainer to win a Pace elimination, and her former boss, John Campbell, was driving to his 10,000th career win – just the seventh driver to reach that milestone. Little deja vu here for Linda? She was in last years Pace final, also with a son of Bettors Delight, by the name of Kenneth J (finished fourth). John Campbell is set for an extension of the most incredible of streaks - his 28th straight Meadowlands Pace final drive. The last Pace he wasn't in? It was the 1980 edition, which went to Niatross.
6. Art Official (15-1)
A solid second to the beast from the north, Somebeachsomewhere, in his elimination. Ron Pierce, who was named to drive five in the elims, is set to try and end an 11-year drought for himself in the Pace. He took the 1997 Meadowlands Pace with Dream Away, and that was his last Pace moment of glory. For history buffs, Art Officials' 0-for-15 freshman record might not be that big a deal. The first-ever Pace winner, Escort, was also 0-for 15 as a freshman in 1976. From the first crop of Art Major, the richest single-season colt pacer that didn't to race in the Meadowlands Pace final (2002).
7. Dontloseyourdayjob (20-1)
He finished third in his elimination. Trainer Monte Gelrod is more than familiar with Meadowlands Pace pressure. As a matter of fact, it was 10 years ago he won the Pace on his own from Bill Robinson. He took that edition with Day In A Life. Oddly, Dontloseyourdayjob is by the same sire, Life Sign. In the 1998 edition of the Pace, Life Sign not only won the Pace with his first crop, but was first and second. That was the last time a first crop sire was 1-2 in the Meadowlands Pace final.
8. Tiz A Masterpiece (25-1)
Finished second in his elimination for trainer Blair Burgess, who is the only trainer of the new millennium with a quartet of seven-figure victories. He is one of three in the final out of an Artsplace mare. Sire Western Hanover has already earned a Meadowlands Pace credit when his son The Panderosa stormed to victory from Post 10 in 1999. He is the only one in the final unraced at two. That same formula almost worked last year for Burgess with Tell All, the Pace runner-up. All American Theory (2003) is the only one not to race as a freshman and still take down the Pace hardware.
9. Atochia (30-1)
The only horse in the field with New Jersey ownership. Can Peter Kleinhans hit the board in the Elitlopp and the Meadowlands Pace in the same year? The only one of the five Dragon Agains from the eliminations who made in to the Big Dance. Remember that Kleinhans stable won the Berry's Creek 15 months ago with Wearable Art.
10. Mucho Sleazy (40-1)
The last foal from a productive mare (Something Sleazy). He gets in as the fastest fourth-place finisher. That worked for Niatross in 1980, Laughs in 1986, Matts Scooter in 1988 and Davids Pass in 1995. Trainer Ken Rucker appears likely to make his Pace and Hambletonian debut in the same year. Driver Dave Miller's streak of consecutive drives in the Pace is now eight. The last one he wasn't in – the 2000 edition (Gallo Blue Chip).