TVGs, Final Fours Set For Saturday

Published: November 17, 2021 10:26 am EST

The Meadowlands Racetrack is set to host the final stakes cavalcade on the 2021 calendar when the finals of the Fall Final Four and TVG Free For All Championships head to post on Saturday (Nov. 20).

Annually, the Fall Final Four gathers some of the continent’s finest two-year-olds for a final tour of the track before hitting the bench in preparation for a sophomore campaign. The $413,600 Valley Victory kicks off the freshmen action with a six-colt affair slated to align. Kindergarten Classic champ and Breeders Crown runner-up Fast As The Wind lands the pylon post for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Dexter Dunn as he rematches with two of his starkest competitors from the Kindergarten Final: Coach K Hanover, who finished second before being disqualified, and Pretender, who made a break from interference by Coach K Hanover. They are joined by Threepointbluechip from Post 6 as he makes his first start since winning the $179,200 Matron as well as Matron runner-up Slay, who starts alongside his stablemate Fast As The Wind from Post 2.

Venerable will vie for a redemptive homecoming in the $479,450 Goldsmith Maid after last stepping foot on The Meadowlands' surface in the Breeders Crown eliminations, where she broke stride at head stretch and missed the final. The Richard “Nifty” Norman trainee enters off a rebound mile in the $130,700 Matron Stakes, which she won by open lengths in 1:54.3. David Miller will drive the Walner filly from Post 7, right to the inside of Kindergarten Classic champ Misswalner Fashion and a couple slots wide of Breeders Crown champ Joviality S.

Powering to a 1:51.1 victory in the Kindergarten Classic, Hammering Hank will try to put in one last big mile of the year as he competes in the $386,600 Governor’s Cup. Dexter Dunn pilots the Brett Pelling-trained gelding by Captaintreacherous from Post 4, well inside of Kindergarten runner-up Early Action from Post 9. The pair draws into a field that includes Loukes Perry, the full brother to Lous Pearlman still attempting to breakthrough to the Grand Circuit scene, and $146,700 Matron winner Market Based.

Last of the freshmen fights is the $359,450 Three Diamonds, a race in which Niki Hill will look to throw the knockout blow to her division. A winner in all but one of her starts, the Chris Ryder-trained daughter of Always B Miki enters off a 1:50.4 cruise in the Kindergarten Classic Final and now lands Post 4 with Dexter Dunn in the sulky. Her runner-up, Treacherous Dragon, will have to overcome post 10.

Interspersed through the Fall Final Four events are the final four free-for-all events of the year. First is the $175,000 TVG Mares Pace, in which Lyons Sentinel will have to affirm her spot atop the divisional throne from Post 9 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King. Jr. Her rivals include Rocknificent, who bested the star mare in both the Breeders Crown elimination and final. Scott Zeron stays with the Linda Toscano pupil.

Each victor from the sophomore Breeders Crown finals received an invitation to the TVG Finals, and only Bella Bellini accepted her invitation. Unfortunately, she’ll have to start from the widest spot in the field of nine for the $175,000 TVG Mare Trot. She starts from that outside post against one of the deepest trotting mare divisions in the history of the sport, including 2018 Hambletonian winner Atlanta from Post 1, 2020 Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella from Post 3, 2020 Hambletonian winner Ramona Hill from Post 4, 2020 Breeders Crown winner Next Level Stuff from Post 5, millionaire Hypnotic AM from Post 6, 2021 Breeders Crown winner Felicityshagwell S from Post 7 and 2019 Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry from Post 8. The field also includes Lucas Wallin’s star mare Absattitudexpress, who will start from Post 2.

Redemption may also be found on the evening in the $350,000 TVG Open Trot, a race that doesn't feature the division's hot horse — European invader Ecurie D. The field does feature several top-class horses who are trying to regain their momentum for the last big prize of the year. Among them are Amigo Volo, who will try for his first stakes win since enduring sickness issues through the summer; Forbidden Trade, who faltered when taking the lead in the Breeders Crown final; Beads, the enigmatic speedster yet to recapture that mid-summer magic which won him the Hambletonian Maturity; and Ready For Moni, Nancy Takter’s regally-bred but occasionally erratic stallion who put in a strong performance to finish third in the Breeders Crown.

Stakes action for the evening wraps with the TVG Open Pace. Breeders Crown champ Ocean Rock returns to try and take the spot atop the divisional standings from Allywag Hanover, who has posted back-to-back runner-up in stakes company. His most recent loss came to his neighbour on the gate Saturday — Enavant, the Luc Blais trainee that went on a speed mission and posted a lifetime best 1:48 victory in the $100,000 Potomac Pace this past Sunday. The 10-horse contest also features millionaire Catch The Fire, world champion Cattlewash, double-millionaire and world champion This Is The Plan and 2020 Little Brown Jug champ Captain Barbossa.

The live card of harness racing gets underway at The Meadowlands on Saturday with the first of 14 races scheduled to go at 6:20 p.m. (EST). To view the full entries, click the following link: Saturday Entries - Meadowlands.

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