Breakfast with the babies at the Meadowlands, Friday style, enjoyed a perfect morning under cloudless skies with temperatures in the low 70s and little to no wind.
The opener was trotting fillies and the Donato Hanover-Nicole's Promise Livininthefastlane won for Yannick Gingras in 1:58 with a :27.2 kicker well in hand over Saturday Mornings after sitting the pocket. She was an $80,000 yearling purchase by Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband at Harrisburg and is trained in the Julie Miller Stable.
Julie Miller wired up the double by training and driving Kelsey's Keepsake to a 2:00 win in the second. The Yankee Glide filly out of Distaff led all the way and dug in gamely for the win over True Blue Stride in a :28.3 final quarter. She is owned by Andy Miller Stable and Peggy Hood, who had the final bid of $35,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.
Taxed To The Max completed the early Pick 3 for Julie Miller's stable when the Yankee Glide colt won in 2:00.1. Gingras used the same strategy as he did in the first race, tracking place finisher Muscle Blues and going by late. This colt is out of the accomplished broodmare Prime Mistress and cost Andy Miller, Arden Homestead and Steve Demeter $92,000 at Lexington last fall.
Pacers began in race four and the sharp looking Western Ideal-CPA filly Cashaway won impressively with Tim Tetrick aboard in 1:55.4, home in :27.3. She was a $105,000 yearling sold at the Lexington sale and is trained by Tony Alagna for Brittany Farms and Marvin Katz. Ideal Nuggets and Sawyer followed her under the wire.
Next up was an impressive mile from The Show Returns, Richard and Joanne Young's $180,000 Lexington sister to their champion mare Put On A Show. Tetrick sent the Rocknroll Hanover-Steinam's Place lass to the top from post six by the half in 1:00, then turned on the jets covering the final half in :56.1, last quarter in :27.3, going right to the wire with the colt Badiou Hanover and late rushing filly Bettor Be Steppin.
Bruce's Magic won the last of the 2-year-old races wire-to-wire in 1:55.4 with Gingras aboard for Alagna. He is a Rocknroll Hanover colt from Special Magic that Alagna Racing, Joe Sbrocco, Eagles Soar Partners and Andy Willinger paid $65,000 for at the Lexington sale. Touch Of Luck closed up nicely for the place and Artspeak rallied from well back for third.
An imposing group of trotters lined up for race seven with both last year's Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life and Breeders Crown winner Spider Blue Chip sharpening up for the $400,00 Hambletonian Maturity on July 5. Those two traded leads through honest fractions, but deep in the stretch the mare Mistery Woman went by both to win in 1:53.2 for John Campbell. Her record this season has been spotty but today she looked like she's ready for anything. Jonas Czernyson trains for Millstream Stable and Aldebaran Park Inc.
Maven came back from Sweden in good form and took a spin around the oval in 1:53.2, willingly holding off Your So Vain with a :28.1 close for Gingras. trainer Jonas Czernyson and owner Bill Donovan. The connections have a lot to look forward to this summer with their champion mare, as that division is deep with talented ladies. They will make for interesting races throughout the season.
Live racing resumes Friday night at the Meadowlands with the $50,000 TVG FFA as the highlight featuring the finest older trotters in the land. Also, a reminder that traffic is expected to be very heavy this evening due to events in and around Metlife stadium. Horsemen are advised to come in before 5 p.m.to avoid being tardy. (Meadowlands)