Hope springs eternal as 2-year-old New Jersey-sired pacers and trotters make their first career starts on Friday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Eight trotting colts--five sons of Muscles Yankee and three by Muscle Hill--will make their debuts in the second race, the first leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes, vying for a purse of $39,000.
Seven trotting fillies, all by Muscle Hill, will go postward in the $38,500 fifth race.
Two divisions of pacing colts and geldings, each worth $27,000, are carded as the ninth and 12th races on the 14-race card. In the first split, there are six sons of Rocknroll Hanover, two by Cam's Card Shark and one by Western Ideal. In the second division, five are by Rocknroll Hanover, and two each by Cam's Card Shark and Western Ideal.
The 2-year-old pacing fillies are competing in a pair of $25,500 divisions, races three and 11, and include seven by Rocknroll Hanove and five by Western Ideal.
Yearling prices do not guarantee great racehorses but expectations will be high for the six entrants who cost $100,000 or more as yearlings.
Among the trotters, they are French Laundry, a $115,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase trained by Jimmy Takter and a winner in both of his 2-year-old races, including a 1:57.3 clocking on June 14. The son of Muscles Yankee is out of the $927,169 earner and Hambletonian Oaks winner Creamy Mimi, who is also the dam of The Franchise and King City. French Laundry races for Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding and co-breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.
True Blue Stride, a Muscle Hill son of Sabrina Hall, cost $160,000 at the Standardbred HorseSale. He is the three-quarter brother of He's A Demon, who banked more than $300,000. Mark Harder trains for Australians Emilio and Maria Rosati.
The filly Mission Brief, trained by Ron Burke, was a $150,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. The daughter of Muscle Hill is out of Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena and won her last 2-year-oldrace by 23 lengths in 1:57.4.
On the pacing side, Richard and Joanne Young have invested $180,000 (Lexington Selected Sale) in The Show Returns by Rocknroll Hanover out of Stienam's Place and turned her over to trainer Chris Ryder. The Youngs campaigned her $2.4 million earning full sister Put On A Show.
Tony Alagna is training Cashaway for Brittany Farms (co-breeder) and Marvin Katz, after the Western Ideal-CPA filly passed through the Lexington Selected Sale ring for $105,000. She is the full sister to two who have won in excess of $250,000 each, Authorize and Act Now, and has won a 2-year-old race in 1:55.4.
The Rocknroll Hanover colt Sid Rock is the first foal of My Fantasy, who earned nearly $345,000. He was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase for William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick and is trained by John Butenschoen. (SBOANJ)