Saturday morning qualifiers at the Meadowlands were held under sunny skies with a stiff wind from the west (into their faces in the homestretch) and featured the return to the races of several stakes types.
Archangel, winner of the 2012 Yonkers Trot in world record time, returned to the track after spending last season in the stud barn at Blue Chip Farms. He now resides in the Ron Burke barn and looked like he hadn't missed a day with a handy 1:56.3 win from off the pace for Yannick Gingras in the blustery conditions. The 4-year-old Ma Chere Hall was second in her return for Jonas Czernyson's stable, who also sent out Mistery Woman in her seasonal debut.
Czernyson sent out his powerful pair of aged mares, Maven and D'Orsay, in the next race and both went well in their debut. They finished second and third, respectively, behind Jimmy Takter's million-dollar winning world record holder Uncle Peter, who tripped the timer in 1:56.1 from off cover, the last quarter was :29.1 into a wind that had a field of green pacers coming home in :32 the very next race.
Shebestingin came back for a second trial and was a 1:54.3/:28.3 win after her 1:52.2 breeze last week. She took over from Brownsville Bomber past the quarter and set the rest of the fractions for Dave Miller and trainer Joe Holloway.
Holloway came right back with another winner in the Indiana-sired sophomore Always B Miki, sired by Joe's classics winner Always A Virgin. Tim Tetrick picked up the drive when Yannick Gingras went with Rockin Amadeus for Takter (who broke before the start) and steered him to the 1:54.1/:28.1 win. (Meadowlands)