It's safe to say that Odds On Equuleus has left his 0-for-15 three-year-old campaign behind him. On Saturday night at the Meadowlands, he flashed the turn of foot that caught everyone's attention as a 2 year old, winning the $30,000 Free-For-All Hanidcap in a lifetime-best 1:48.2.
Leaving from post position three and sent off as the 2-1 second choice, Marcus Miller gathered Odds On Equuleus back towards the rear of the field, settling in next to last through an opening quarter of :26.2 and a rapid half-mile of :53.3, established by Aracache Hanover. He awaited the move of Wake Up Peter, who in turn flushed out Dovuto Hanover, positioning Odds On Equuleus third-over through three-quarters of 1:21.3.
Turning for home it appeared to be anyone's race, with Aracache Hanover grimly holding onto the lead, Dovuto Hanover grinding away first-over and Wake Up Peter gathering momentum off cover. But then, seemingly in an instant, Odds On Equuleus appeared widest of all in deep stretch and accelerated dramatically to win going away, pacing the final quarter mile in :26 flat. Wake Up Peter was a very solid second and Dovuto Hanover a game third.
The winner is owned by Odds On Racing and trained by Tony Alagna.
A pair of Meadowlands Pace contenders earned strong confidence builders Saturday night as well.
First up was Beat The Drum, who showed early speed, caught a bit of a shuffle, moved first over as the 2-1 second choice and just kept on coming to win a non-winners of four event in 1:50.1. Beat The Drum will likely make his next start in a Meadowlands Pace elimination for Bender Sweden Inc. and trainer Staffan Lind. Dan Rawlings guided the son of Tell All to his new lifetime mark.
Not to be out-done was Let's Drink On It, who faced seven older rivals in the sixth race B-2 event for $18,000. Moving to the half mile pole, the 4-5 betting choice made the lead through a sharp :54.2 half mile, then paced a :54.1 back half mile to win by over four lengths over the veteran Silent Swing in an extremely sharp, and lifetime-best 1:48.3.
Currently eighth on The Road to The Meadowlands Pace, Let's Drink On It is owned by Seekman, Bond, Hewitt and Boido Jr., trained by Joe Seekman and was driven to victory by his regular pilot, Tyler Smith, who had a career night, winning five races on the program.
For the second consecutive night, live handle at the Meadowlands showed slight gains over the previous year, gathering momentum into the strongest month of the meet. (Meadowlands)