The entire field was back. That was the theme for the quintet of trotters in the Friday night feature race at The Meadowlands, the $30,000 A-1/Free For All Handicap. When last raced, it was World Cup and Joe Bongiorno who stormed home to nail Daylon Magician on the wire, but tonight Daylon Magician was too elusive on the lead.
Appearing headstrong under a hard hold by Dave Miller, Daylon Magician got to the lead past the opening quarter which was reached in just 28.2. From that point, Daylon Magician coasted through a 58 second middle half tripping the timer in 57.1 and 1:26.2 before sprinting home in a final quarter 27.2 to hit the wire in 1:53.4, one length in front. Not Afraid appeared to have a great deal of trot in the pocket but was unable to shake free late and was a hard luck 2nd in the best effort of the year for him. Amigo Ranger rode the pylons to be 3rd, while World Cup could not close into slow tempo and finished 4th in what was a four horse place photo. Both Amigo Ranger and World Cup couldn't come home much faster, sprinting the final quarter in 27 seconds. Sweet Justice took his shot on the far turn, making a powerful brush from last to first in an eighth of a mile, but could not sustain that bid and finished a tough 5th, beaten only a length and a half for all the money.
The winner, Daylon Magician now has lifetime earnings of $1,634,267 for owner Daylon Farms LTD and new trainer Mark Ford. This was a key win for Daylon Magician with stake payments upcoming for the most important trotting races at The Meadowlands, The Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, John Cashman Memorial and TVG Free For All Championship.
Coraggioso was an extremely impressive winner tonight, winning his second start back since July 26th in a powerful 1:52.4 triumph in a C-1/B-2 Handicap trot, lowering his lifetime mark by a full second. The one time Hambletonian contender, driven by Andy Miller is owned by Joseph Spadaro and long-time NYRA track announcer Tom Durkin and is trained by Julie Miller.
Perfect Alliance served notice as the horse to beat in the Charles Singer Memorial which is where she is headed following her victory tonight. She followed up her 1:53.3 blowout win last week with a game and determined victory tonight, overcoming several obstacles. She shied away from a breaker on the first turn, was parked for the opening three-eighths of a mile, found the pylons for an eighth of a mile and then went first over from the half mile pole to the wire winning in 1:54. Even more impressive, she did that racing with a flat tire on the sulky of Any Miller for the back half-mile. Of the nine horse she defeated, five were Charles Singer Memorial eligibles. Perfect Alliance gave trainer Julie Miller a double. She is owned by Little E L.L.C., Meadowlands General Manager Jason M. Settlemoir, Stolz and Geiger.
Total handle for the night was $2,645,278. The Meadowlands was cancelled on this Friday in 2013 due to a winter storm. The $2,645,278 would be a 10-percent increase over the same night in 2012. (Meadowlands)