Altar, Southwind Tyrion score in NJSS Finals
July 25, 2020
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They might have taken different paths to get there, but Altar and Southwind Tyrion both found their way to the winner's circle in a pair of $160,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes finals at The Meadowlands Friday night.
Altar, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Swan Hot Mama, led at every call in taking the 2-year-old filly trot for driver Dave Miller and trainer Per Engblom. After heading to the gate as the 4-5 public choice, Miller urged Altar to the top and never surrendered the lead in a thoroughly dominant performance, hitting the wire 2¾ lengths in front of Material Girl in a lifetime-best equaling 1:54.4. Presto finished third.
"I actually wanted to get out of there and get on Yannick's [Gingras, driving Presto] back," said Miller. "I thought that would be better. She finished real strong."
After hitting the half in a rated :58, Altar accelerated and opened up 2½ on the field at three-quarters and had no anxious moments from there. "Not particularly," said Miller when asked if he intentionally sped clear of the field. "She was so relaxed, I did chirp to her on the far turn, and she did everything on her own from there."
Altar returned $3.60 to her backers, and now has two wins in three lifetime starts, good for earnings of $92,500 for owners Diamond Creek Racing.
In the 2-year-old colt and gelding trot, the Ake Svanstedt trained and driven Southwind Tyrion stayed perfect in two lifetime outings after scoring in a lifetime-best 1:54 coming from off the pace.
The son of Muscle Hill-Taylor Jean was pushed wide into the first turn and took back to mid-pack before emerging from the five-hole approaching the half, flushing cover from Mon Amour, who was looking for a three-race Sire Stakes sweep.
Miller and Heartbreak Hill were sailing along on the lead at three-quarters but brought little from there. After tipping off his cover, Southwind Tyrion exploded home in :27 to record a 3-length win over Locatelli, who did well from post 10 as the 2-1 favorite. Spy Booth grabbed the show dough.
Southwind Tyrion, who returned $16.40 as the fifth choice in the wagering, now has earnings of $92,500 for owners S R F Stable and Ake Svanstedt Inc.
STAYING PERFECT: A pair of $96,000 NJSS Finals for 2-year-old pacers were contested before the betting card, with both winners completing three-race sweeps after taking both of their respective preliminary legs.
First up was Anna Jeans (Great Vintage-Early Go Hanover), who won the filly event in 2:05.2 for driver Jason Thompson and trainer John Urbanski. Fika Time (a Sunfire Blue Chip-Raiders Favorite gelding) stopped the clock in a lifetime-best 1:55.4 in the division for colts and geldings for Tim Tetrick and Chase Vandervort.
There were also a pair of New Jersey Breeders Maturity events for 4-year-old pacers, the first of which – for horses and geldings – went to Hurrikane Emperor in 1:50. The son of Hurrikane Kingcole-Hurrikane Schmumma, the fastest horse in the sport this year by virtue of his 1:47 clocking in the Graduate on July 11, was piloted by Mark MacDonald for John McDermott.
A Beach Cowgirl (Somebeachsomewhere-Limestone Cowgirl) established her lifetime best of 1:50 in holding off JK American Beauty by a half-length for Dexter Dunn and Annie Stoebe in the division for mares.
A LITTLE MORE: 2016 Hambletonian champion Marion Marauder won the overnight feature – a high-end conditioned trot – in a lifetime-best 1:50.2. ... Miller led all drivers with four wins on the card. ... Betting surpassed the $2.5-million mark for the 29th time in 35 Big M programs this year, as a total of $2,759,620 was pushed through the windows, including $100,394 of action in the 50-cent Late Pick-4. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.