Major Stakes Weekend At The Big M

Published: July 28, 2021 09:27 am EDT

If you like stakes, then The Meadowlands is most certainly the place to be this Friday and Saturday evening.

The New Jersey oval will host a smorgasbord of stake events for pacers and trotters, and it all starts in Friday night’s fourth race.

The undefeated King Of The North will take on six others in his $20,000 Peter Haughton Memorial elimination for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters.

The son of Walner-Check Me Out is three-for-three in his career for trainer Ray Schnittker. Mark MacDonald will be paired up with the youngster once again looking for the Grand Slam. The freshman’s latest triumph was a 1:52.4 decision in the $200,000 NJSS final at the Meadowlands.

The second elimination appears to be a more wide-open affair. Fast As The Wind is two-for-two for the tandem of driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Tony Alagna, but the likes of the Marcus Melander-trained Letsdoit S and the Ron Burke-trained S I P certainly merit respect based on wins that they’ve posted early in their careers.

A single elimination will help decide the group of 10 for this year’s Jim Doherty Memorial. The $20,000 affair will have the top nine finishers join the bye-accepting Venerable in next week’s rich final.

Nancy Takter trainee Mon Cheval will have to overcome Post 10 for driver Dexter Dunn if she is to keep her perfect record intact. She won her debut at Pocono Downs in a division of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes. The regally-bred daughter of Father Patrick-Shake It Cerry stopped the clock in 1:54.3 to win that stake.

As things switch to Saturday at the New Jersey oval, the stakes parade will begin in Race 5 as three-year-old trotting fillies slug it out in the first of this year’s Hambletonian Oaks eliminations.

Beltassima figures to be a major player based on her 2021 accomplishments for trainer Tony Alagna. The daughter of Trixton-Beltane Hanover is already a three-time winner this season including a career-best clocking of 1:52.3 in the W.N. Reynolds Memorial earlier this month.

You Ato Dream also deserves high marks based on what she’s been able to accomplish this year for trainer/driver Jeff Gregory. She’ll go into Saturday’s assignment fresh off of her win in the $139,500 Delvin Miller Memorial in 1:52.2.

Donna Soprano will depart from Post 1 in the second elimination for the duo of driver Dan Dube and trainer Luc Blais. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Windsong Soprano enters her elimination fresh off of a 1:51.3 tally in the $142,000 Delvin Miller Memorial.

She’ll take on the likes of Swift Swanda, who is a four-time winner this year for trainer Erv Miller, and the multiple NYSS winner, Iteration, for trainer Marcus Melander.

Trainer Marcus Melander has a two-headed monster — Sonofamistery and Dancinginthedark M — heading into the first of this year’s Hambletonian eliminations.

Sonofamistery was a 1:50.2 winner for driver Brian Sears in the $138,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial on July 17 at the Meadowlands. That was the second win of the season for the son of Muscle Hill-Mistery Woman.

Stablemate Dancinginthedark M has won four of five starts this season including his July 17 triumph in the $135,500 Stanley Dancer Memorial. The son of Readly Express-Leila stopped the clock in 1:50.1 that night for driver Tim Tetrick.

Johan Palema will headline the second elimination for the duo of driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ake Svanstedt. The son of Bar Hopping-Sobti Hanover totes a three-race winning streak into the $50,000 affair. His biggest victory of the season – and to date – came in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot earlier this month.

Really Fast got his act together last week in a $48,250 division of the Tompkins-Geers for trainer Nancy Takter and driver Dexter Dunn. It was the fourth win of the season for the son of Muscle Hill-Stubborn Belle.

The seasonally-unbeaten Test Of Faith will start from the trailing position in the $62,800 Tompkins-Geers for three-year-old pacing fillies. The Brett Pelling trainee will be paired up with regular driver David Miller in her quest to find the winner’s circle for the sixth time this season and run her unbeaten streak to nearly a full calendar year and 13 straight races.

Perfect Sting returns to action for Joe Holloway following his eventual runner-up performance in the $700,000 Meadowlands Pace. The son of Always B Miki-Shebestingin and driver David Miller will look to clobber nine other male sophomores in the $78,700 Tompkins-Geers.

A bulky group of 12 will get it on in a $40,000 leg of the Miss Versatility Series, and the headliner in that group is Atlanta for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. The daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip will start from the second tier in Post 12 as she searches for her third win of the campaign.

Entries for the weekend cards of harness racing in advance of Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands are available at the following links:

Friday Entries - Meadowlands Racetrack

Saturday Entries - Meadowlands Racetrack



If there are stakes races for 2yo colt and filly trotters on Hambo Day, then why aren't there also stakes races for 2yo colt and filly pacers??? Why, once again, is the more popular gait getting the short end of the stick?? The Meadowlands used to have a major stakes race for 2yo colt pacers, The Woodrow Wilson. At one time, the purse was more than $2 million. The race no longer even exists.

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