The 11-race card at Freehold Raceway on Friday (April 23) features both the stars of yesterday and of today. The program includes a prep for the Lady Suffolk, as well as a stacked renewal of the Preferred Handicap Trot.
The Lady Suffolk Prep drew a field of six three-year-old trotting fillies, and is scheduled as the third race on the card, with a post time of about 1:10 p.m. (EDT). Ron Burke sends out a pair in here including Hot As Hill, the winner of two legs of the Kindergarten series last fall at the Meadowlands. She qualified at Freehold last week, trotting the mile in 1:59.1. Her uncoupled stablemate, The Queen B, finished third last week in a conditioned trot at Freehold, and was sixth in the Kindergarten final last year.
The race also includes Just Joshing—the winner of the New York Sire Stakes Excelsior A Final at Tioga Downs last summer for trainer Julie Miller—along with the runner-up in that race and a three-time winner in the series, Marcus Melander trainee Izzy Demsky. Spruce Creek, who won the New Jersey Futurity at Freehold last fall, will make her three-year-old debut in this race, for trainer Ron Coyne Jr.
Victoriana, a winner at Freehold last fall for trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer, rounds the field.
Later on the card, the Preferred Handicap features a select field of six. The field includes two of the classiest trotters on the east coast: Paul Kelly trainee Obrigado, a winner of 55 races lifetime and more than $1.9 million; and Meladys Monet, a 73-time winner trained by Hermann Heitmann who has earned more than $1.7 million. They've won the Preferred Handicap three times each this season, with Meladys Monet getting the better of their lone head-to-head matchup to date on Jan. 29. Obrigado will seek revenge from post 5 with driver Dan Dube, while Meladys Monet will look for victory from post 6 with driver Eric Abbatiello. Meladys Monet is also seeking his fourth win in a row, and a win in the Preferred for the second straight week.
The duo will face an interesting challenge in the form of Warrawee Roo. On Friday, he'll make his first start since Nov. 24, 2018 when he was ninth in the TVG Final at the Meadowlands. Earlier that year, he won the Harry Harvey Invitational Trot at Yonkers Raceway, and was third in the Breeders Crown Open Trot at Pocono Downs. He's qualified several times at Woodbine Mohawk Park in preparation for his return. Bob McClure has the drive from post 4 for trainer Luc Blais.
Armagedon Seelster, for trainer Ron Coyne Jr; Casino Cutie It, trained by Tom Fanning; and Winneress, trained by Symon Spicer, complete the ensemble. It's scheduled as the sixth race, with a listed post time of 2:10 p.m. (EDT).
In addition, the Friday card features a carryover in the $1 Early Pick 4, worth $3,017.73. The bet begins in Race 2, starting at 12:50 p.m. (EDT).
Post time for the first of 11 races at Freehold on Friday is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (EDT).