Trainer Nik Drennan told harnessracing.com Tuesday afternoon that he received a text message from driver Brian Sears a little bit earlier informing Drennan that he spoke with Meadowlands chairman Jeff Gural and an agreement has been reached that will allow Sears to drive at the New Jersey racetrack. Gural had told Sears, who moved his base of operations from the Meadowlands to Yonkers last year, he wouldn't be allowed to drive at the New Jersey track in qualifiers, baby races and overnights.
Sears was listed on just one horse on the Friday overnight sheet at the Big M, ironically the Drennan-trained Guess Whos Back in Race 2, a $39,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters.
"He just texted me that he met with Gural and he can now drive,” said Drennan. "I figured things would end up OK, and when I had to enter the horse yesterday, I'll put him in (with Sears driving) and if it worked out, it worked out.”
Sears is also listed to drive the 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician and recent North America Cup winner JK Endofanera is qualifiers Saturday morning at the Big M.
Guess Whos Back is a son of Muscles Yankee out of the SJ's Caviar mare Shes Gone Again, a half sister to the 2009 Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year Poof She's Gone. Bred by Diamond Creek Farm and Mel Hartman, Guess Whos back was a $90,000 yearling purchase by Joseph Davino and Brad Shackman.
Guess Whos Back comes into the race off just one second-place finish in a June 21 baby race at the Meadowlands, race-timed in 2:00 with an individual last quarter of :27. He will start from post four in the single NJSS division for first-year male trotters.
"I was either going to baby race him again on Saturday, or race him Friday, and if he races Friday then he's eligible for the final,” said Drennan. "I knew it was going to be a short field with only eight. I would have preferred to have another qualifier, but he'll be fine.”