Peter Tritton thinks Malak Uswaad N is the best horse he's ever trained. He hopes the 5-year-old pacer, or one of his stablemates, can take him places he's never been.
Malak Uswaad N and 7-year-old Second Wind N, another Tritton trainee, are entered in Saturday's $40,000 second round of the Presidential series at Meadowlands Racetrack. They are both 25-1 on the morning line in the 11-horse field, but Tritton has high hopes for them.
Tritton, a 61-year-old native of Australia who has lived in Delaware for 10 years, got both New Zealand-born pacers in 2012.
Malak Uswaad N, owned by Tritton, was brought along slowly last year because of a suspensory issue, but won his first four starts in the U.S., all at Harrah's Philadelphia, once he got rolling in June. His top victory came in July when he won the Open by a neck over Meirs Hanover in 1:50.1.
Second Wind N, owned by Harry Von Knoblauch, debuted in the States in October and won four of eight starts and $60,130. His top triumph came in a condition race at Philly, where he won in 1:49.4 in early November.
"We're giving them a shot,” said Tritton, who has won 387 races and $5.54 million in purses since arriving in the U.S. in 2002. "I always thought I'd put them in (the Presidential) and see if it's worth pursuing (other big races) during the year. They're both nice horses, but I've got to see how we handle the big boys.
"Whatever races there are later in the year, if they're going good enough I'll take them. If one is just going good enough, I'll take the one. I just want to give them a chance. I haven't had a good enough horse to be on the (Grand) Circuit yet; maybe one of these might do the job. It would be a bit of fun.”
In last week's opening round of the Presidential, Malak Uswaad N and driver Ron Pierce finished fourth in a division won by defending series champ Golden Receiver. Second Wind N and driver Tim Tetrick finished fifth, beaten by three lengths, in a division won by Versado in 1:49.4.
"I had a lot of sickness going through the stable here so I'm hoping for a lot better run this week and for the final, if they get in it, they should be a lot better again,” Tritton said. "We'll keep our fingers crossed.”
Following the Presidential series, which wraps up with the $110,000 final on Jan. 26, Second Wind N will be pointed to the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers. Tritton is uncertain of Malak Uswaad N's next step, but he likes the horse's potential.
"He's probably the best horse I've ever trained,” Tritton said. "I'm sure he's a (1):48 horse one night when he gets the right trip. As soon as I got him I just loved the horse. He's so relaxed. He won't run off; he'll follow horses and come out and do something. He's just a lovely horse.”
As for the task in the Presidential, Tritton knows it will be a challenge to get past Golden Receiver. The 8 year old is two-for-two this season after winning 13 of 25 races and $941,025 last year. Golden Receiver has won four consecutive starts at the Meadowlands dating back to August and 12 of his last 15 races at the track going back to July 2011.
The remainder of the field for Saturday's second round is Modern Legend, Fred And Ginger, Versado, Dial Or Nodial, Mr. Hasani N, Meirs Hanover, Rockin The House, and Annieswesterncard.
"Obviously, Golden Receiver is going to be hard to beat,” Tritton said. "He shines at the Meadowlands.” (HRC)