Caviart Ally returns with sharp win at Meadowlands
March 07, 2020
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Just 48 hours after arch-rival – and 2019 Horse of the Year – Shartin N won in 1:50 at Dover Downs in her seasonal debut, Caviart Ally sizzled over a sloppy strip at the Meadowlands Friday night in her first start of 2020, taking the co-featured $30,000 Preferred for pacing fillies and mares in 1:49.4 in rainy and chilly conditions over a sloppy track with a -2 variant.
“I’m very proud of her,” said Caviart Ally’s trainer Brett Pelling. “She is reasonably fit and race ready but there’s nothing like a race to get her on her game.”
Let the rivalry resume. “Racing Shartin N always presents a dilemma since they both share the same racing style,” said Pelling. “No matter what, posts at Yonkers will dictate [when the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series gets underway next week].”
JK American Beauty, spectacular two weeks ago when she won her first start of the year in a lifetime-best 1:50.2, was on the go early and grabbed the top. After taking a brief tuck, Caviart Ally was up after the lead and cleared at the three-eighths before hitting the half in :55.1.
‘Ally’ was clear of JK American Beauty as Odds On St Lucie inched her way into the fray at three-quarters while first-over, but through the stretch, after some coaxing from driver Andy McCarthy, Caviart Ally hit the wire a safe neck in front of JK American Beauty. Odds On St Lucie was third.
“She was terrific,” said McCarthy. “I was hoping to [come from off the pace] but I had to put her in the race. I wanted to give her a good tightener and we were in a bit of a soft bunch, so I figured we had to be close to the front anyway.”
Caviart Ally, a 6-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight-Allamerican Cool who is owned by Caviart Farms, returned $3.40 to win as the 3-5 public choice. She’s now won 26-of-73 lifetime starts and earned $1,839,516.
Winning one of the features on the card wasn’t enough for McCarthy, who also scored in the $30,000 Preferred for trotters, with Joey Bats, in 1:53.1.
Joey Bats went parked past the quarter but eventually got around a head-strong Muscle Diamond soon thereafter before reaching the half in :55.4.
Pappy Go Go, who along with Joey Bats comprised a power-packed uncoupled 1-2 punch for trainer Andrew Harris, raced fifth to the half before uncorking a burst of speed to get into contention on the far turn, but faded soon thereafter. The pocket-sitting Muscle Diamond took his shot in deep stretch but would come up a neck short. Misslarose finished third but was disqualified and placed last in the field of six for interference. Pappy Go Go finished fourth, then placed third.
“He was good,” said McCarthy of Joey Bats. “I think he needs to sit off a helmet, but if I didn’t go to the lead tonight, I knew I would have to come first-over. I knew I had to win tonight. I know they staked him up pretty good, so I wanted to make sure he won.”
“Joey is just a phenomenal horse who is still developing,” said Harris. “I think he has every bit of what it takes to become a stakes winner at some point. Andy Mac just knows how to manage him.”
Joey Bats, a 5-year-old gelded son of Holiday Road-JN Daytona who is owned by Scott Dillon, Michele Nelson and Marc Reynolds, returned $5.20 to win as the 8-5 favorite. He’s now won 18-of-58 lifetime outings and earned $329,962.
Pappy Go Go, who was in search of a fifth straight Meadowlands win, did not bring his best effort.
“Pappy was a little disappointing,” said Harris. “He’s a very talented horse and when he didn’t get better position off the gate, in short fields, everyone is protecting. I knew he was going to be stuck with a tough journey.”
Drew Monti, the 25-year-old driver regularly seen on the Buffalo-Batavia circuit, upped his win total at the meeting to 12 after winning three races on the card. All-source handle on the 13-race program totaled $2,503,586. Wagering has now gone past the $2.5 million mark in 11 of the last 12 Big M cards. (Meadowlands)