Hugadragon, who banked more than $715,000 as a sophomore last year, got his 4-year-old campaign off to a rousing start Tuesday with an easy victory in the $22,500 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows.
Hugadragon closed his 3-year-old season with a flourish, capturing the Matron at Dover Downs with a lifetime mark of 1:49.3 in the preliminary leg. After a pair of qualifiers, he looked sharp on the lead Tuesday, scoring for Dave Palone in 1:51 over a sloppy surface. JJ Gladiator was second, 2-1/2 lengths back, with Schoolkids a rallying third.
Ron Burke trains Hugadragom, a Dragon Again-Hip Huggers gelding, for Burke Racing Stable.
Palone and Mike Wilder each drove three winners on the 16-race card. (The Meadows)