The winners of this year's Harold Dancer Trot and Marion Dancer Trot will face off in the $30,000 New Jersey Futurity for 2-year-old trotters on Friday at Freehold Raceway.
King Muscles, the Harold Dancer winner, and Time To Kill, the Marion Dancer winner, both by Muscles Yankee, will meet in the New Jersey-sired restricted stakes, sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. Only four two-year-olds were entered - three fillies and one colt [King Muscles]. The race will be contested as a non-wagering event at 12:15 pm.
King Muscles, driven by Cat Manzi and trained by Aaron Lambert for J&T Silva Stables of Long Beach, NY, recorded his first career victory in the $36,500 Harold Dancer on September 20 at Freehold, taking a mark of 2:04. He has finished on-the-board in five of six starts, banking $70,805. His biggest payday came with a second to Corky in the $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final at the Meadowlands on Aug. 17.
Time To Kill was second by a nose in her $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final at the Meadowlands but responded in her next start, the $30,750 Marion Dancer on September 6 at Freehold, to post her first win in 1:59.3. She returned to the winner's circle in her next outing, the $89,250 Bluegrass at The Red Mile on September 27, lowering her mark to 1:55.1. Driven by John Campbell and trained by Ross Croghan, Time To Kill, was second in her last start on October 4 in the $98,100 International Stallion,
also at The Red Mile. She has now finished first or second in six of eight starts. Her earnings for Let It Ride Stables, Robert Cooper Stables and J&T Silva Stables has reached $133,500.
Friday's card at Freehold also includes a $7,000 second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes-Green Acres for three-year-old trotting colts. Carded as the seventh race, the stakes drew eight starters, including Melady's Monet, the 5-2 morning line favorite.
Thursday's card features three New Jersey Sire Stakes, including a $25,000 final for three-year-old trotting fillies, the ninth race. Aunt Mel by Yankee Glide, winner of eight races this year, including the New Jersey Futurity for her age and gait, has the nod as the 2-1 morning line pick. Lifetime, the Erv Miller trainee has finished on-the-board in 19 of 31 starts and earned $257,845 for Mary Jane Anderson of Long Grove, IL.
The co-features on the Thursday program are two $7,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies, the first and seventh races.
Nominal Hanover by Western Ideal is the 2-1 favorite in the first race while Light Of Day, by Rocknroll Hanover, is the 5-2 top pick in the seventh race. (Carol Hodes for SBOANJ)