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Graduate Finals, Meadowlands Pace Elimination Drawn

Published: July 7, 2020 1:06 pm ET

Last Comment: July 7, 2020 7:20 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

With a limited number of 12 horses having dropped into the entry box, there will only be one Meadowlands Pace elimination necessary during this Saturday night's (July 11) program at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

The 'Big M's first race on Saturday will head behind the starter at 7:15 p.m.

Two horses – Chief Mate and Allywag Hanover – accepted byes and will automatically advance to the lucrative July 18 final for three-year-old open pacers.

Conditions call for those with the highest earnings this season getting the option to skip the elim. Trainer Mark Harder wanted Major Betts to race, so he’s in to go this Saturday. As a result, Chief Mate and Allywag Hanover, who were next in line in 2020 earnings, took a free pass to the final. Both of these pacers will compete in the PASS leg at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday.

The elimination will feature a field of 10, and the first eight in official order of finish will advance to the $631,650 final. The elimination winner will get a major perk: That horse will draw a post position from one through six.

Tall Dark Stranger has drawn Post 3 in the elim. The Nancy Takter trainee’s only start this year resulted in a United States season’s-best-equalling mile of 1:47.4. The Brett Pelling-trained Papi Rob Hanover, who finished second in his 2020 debut a week ago after a tough trip from Post 10, was once again luckless at 'the pill drop,' as he has drawn Post 10 for a second consecutive start.

The field for Saturday night’s Meadowlands Pace elimination appears below.

(Post - Horse - Driver)
1 - Major Betts - D. Dunn
2 - Captain Barbossa - A. McCarthy
3 - Tall Dark Stranger - Y. Gingras
4 - Manticore - J. Stratton
5 - Captain Kirk - D. Dunn
6 - Roll With JR - T. Tetrick
7 - Mocha On The Rocks - S. Zeron
8 - Catch The Fire - M. Wilder
9 - Capt Midnight - A. McCarthy
10 - Papi Rob Hanover - D. Miller

Saturday’s program will also feature a pair of $250,000 Graduate finals. The open events for four-year-olds – one for pacers and one on the trot – both have full fields of 10.

The trot has double Breeders Crown and New York Sire Stakes champion Gimpanzee as the one with the target on his back. Gimpanzee was ultra-impressive while winning both of his starts this year, each of which were in Graduate preliminaries (he scoring once on the front end and once from well off the pace).

The field for the Graduate final for trotters appears below.

(Post - Horse - Driver)
1 - Chin Chin Hall - D. Dunn
2 - Kings County - D. Miller
3 - Gimpanzee - B. Sears
4 - Winnerup - T. Smedshammer
5 - Explosivebreakaway - T. Tetrick
6 - Southwind Avenger - A. McCarthy
7 - Goes Down Smooth - TBA
8 - Pure Chance - TBA
9 - Grand Swan - T. Tetrick
10 - Reign Of Honor - D. Miller

Bettors Wish was the top money-earning horse in harness racing a year ago with over (US)$1.6 million in the bank, and despite having drawn Post 10, will likely be the public's choice in the Graduate for pacers. Bettors Wish is coming into the showdown off of his 1:48.2 closing win a week ago at the Meadowlands in the series’ final leg.

The field for the Graduate final for pacers appears below.

(Post - Horse - Driver)
1 - Century Farroh - D. Miller
2 - Shamwow - J. Stratton
3 - Workin Ona Mystery - T. Tetrick
4 - Dancin Lou - B. Sears
5 - Hurrikane Emperor - M. MacDonald
6 - Aflame Hanover - D. Miller
7 - Captain Victorious - Y. Gingras
8 - Brassy Hanover - S. Zeron
9 - Bllack Hole - T. Tetrick
10 - Bettors Wish - D. Dunn

(Meadowlands Racetrack)

July 7, 2020 - 7:20 pmAlthough their connections

Mike Mobley SAID...

Although their connections both accepted byes into The Meadowlands Pace final, both Allywag Hanover and Chief Mate will still be racing this weekend, in the PA Sires Stakes on Friday at Harrah's Philly.

Amazingly, not a single Ron Burke-trained horse is entered in the 2020 Meadowlands Pace.

July 7, 2020 - 4:27 pmThe biggest disappointment in

Mike Mobley SAID...

The biggest disappointment in the 2 preliminary legs of the pacing Graduate had to have been 2019 LBJ winner Southwind Ozzi. Not only did he fail to make the final, he failed to finish in the money or even to pick up a check.

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