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Multiple ‘Big M’ Stakes Races Friday

Published: September 6, 2017 4:48 pm ET

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The Meadowlands Racetrack will re-open for live racing this Friday (September 8) with a stakes-filled program.

The last preliminary leg of the Miss Versatility series for trotting mares has been carded as Friday’s second race. It will feature a compact field of four racing for a purse of $40,000. Caprice Hill (trained by Tony Alagna for Tom Hill) and Broadway Donna (Jim Campbell trains for Fashion Farms) have each earned over $1 million in their illustrious careers, and between them decided many of the top sophomore stakes for their division last season. Opposing that are PL Jill and Oho Diamond, stablemates in the Ronnie Morales barn for owner Dan Clements that don’t have the lifetime resume of their rivals, but both are currently in career form.

The Kindergarten Classic will cover eight races on the Friday card – two each for all freshman divisions. Purses for the races will be $10,000. The series was designed to provide races for the late bloomers and relative underachievers that need more racing lessons than some of their more advanced counterparts. Now with the various sires stakes programs concluded, the Kindergarten becomes a viable tool to get races for those horses against their own kind. There are several trainers that have used the Kindergarten races to perfection and a few of those are well represented in this week’s edition.

Erv Miller successfully trains a lot of young horses and has a keen eye for placement. Miller has seven in to go on Friday, the most accomplished being Farsetti Hanover, who was third in the $360,000 Peter Haughton Memorial last month. Farsetti became a Grand Circuit winner by breaking his maiden in the Reynolds Stakes and has returned nearly $70,000 on a yearling sale investment of $27,000 for Erv and partners George Golemes and David Prushnok.

Nifty Norman also has seven two-year-olds in the Friday mix. Megadolce is perhaps the most promising of Norman’s Kindergarten lot. She is a homebred Cantab Hall filly from David McDuffee’s successful race mare Bella Dolce, who has been fast and consistent during her freshman campaign. Despite being winless thus far after five outings, Megadolce has been second in four of those, including a scant nose loss in the PASS consolations just last week.

John Butenschoen is a Kindergarten fan and it shows. He has entered a half dozen that fit the bill.

Live racing at the Meadowlands will continue on Saturday and the following weekend as well. First-race post time will be 7:15 p.m.

(With files from the Meadowlands)

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