Brian Sears reined in three winners as the first round of winter series action kicked off on a bitterly cold Thursday night at Meadowlands Racetrack.
Sears sprung out of the gate with Zeitgeist in the first race, one of five $12,500 Super Bowl Series divisions for 4-year-old trotters on the card. Zeitgeist led the field at every call and drew off to a three-quarter-length victory in 1:56.3. Monsignor Flan, the even-money favorite, benefited from a pocket trip and appeared to be within reach of victory before going off stride in the stretch. Fluorescent was a distanced third. Zeitgeist improved his record to six wins in 19 career starts for trainer Henrik Lundell of Jobstown, NJ and co-owner Peter Barbato of Demarest, NJ. The son of SJ's Caviar upped his bankroll to $33,860.
Fortissimo closed from the far outside to win the second Super Bowl division with Sears in the sulky. The 4-year-old son of Wonder Dancer lowered his mark to 1:58.3 in his seventh career win for trainer Kent Sherman and owner Keith Pippi of Pittsburgh, PA. Jeanie Marie was just a neck behind in second, while Toocloseforcomfort finished third after coming first up on the attack.
Sears also steered favorite Summer Snow to victory in one of three $12,500 divisions of the White Ruffles Series for 4-year-old pacing mares. Summer Snow took command heading into the final turn and drew off to a career best 1:54 clocking. Tryst and Fortunes Smile were second and third best, respectively. Summer Snow, a grey daughter of Admirals Galley, improved her record to six wins in 14 lifetime starts. Al Meyer trains Summer Snow for the Squawk Box Stable of Monroe Township, NJ.
Andy and Julie Miller also teamed for three winners on the card, including their own Dolce Ducci, who romped to a 1:57.1 in the third Super Bowl division. With Andy in the sulky, Dolce Ducci upped his slate to four wins in 12 career starts and boosted his earnings to $22,200. The Millers purchased the son of Muscles Yankee for $30,000 at the Tattersalls Mixed Sale on August 10, 2010.
The husband and wife team returned to the winner's circle in the final Super Bowl split of the night with Ellen's Isle. The daughter of Windsong's Legacy crushed her foes by six lengths in 1:55.3. It was her third trip to the winner's circle in 10 starts. Julie trains Ellen's Isle for Joseph Krizan of New Egypt, NJ and Jason and Douglas Allen of Southampton, NJ. Julie and Andy Miller also had success Thursday night with Martha Maxine, who won the seventh race for $20,000 claimers.
Alcarine rallied late to take the fourth division of the Super Bowl Series in a personal best 1:55.4 for driver-trainer Daryl Bier. Nicholas Cimino of Pompano Beach, FL bred and owns the daughter of Revenue-SCC Jennifer, who has now won five of 19 starts and $32,000.
Fax Me snapped Only The World's six-race streak with a stunning 23-1 upset in the first of the White Ruffles divisions on the card. The two mares locked up in a duel on the final turn, with Fax Me edging away in the final strides to a length and a half victory. She was clocked in 1:53.4 with Brandon Simpson in the sulky. The daughter of Cape Crusader is perfect in two starts this year for trainer Jim Eaton and Illinois owners Brett Wilfong and Lynn Wilfong.
Harlem Rockturne extended her winning streak to three in the final White Ruffles division. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Harlem Rockturne moved three-wide on the final turn and got up just in time for a career best 1:54.2 clocking. Ron Burke trains the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover for Ribbonships of Somerset, NJ.(Meadowlands)