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Classic finals on tap

July 27, 2005
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Saturday's late afternoon card at the Meadowlands will also feature four $250,000 Classic Series finals for older horses and mares of both gaits. Each of the four races on the July 30 program will go at a distance of 1 1/16 miles.



Mr. Muscleman, who has dominated the older trotting division this year, drew post two in the eight-horse Trotting Classic, and will be teamed with driver Ron Pierce. The two-time divisional champion won last week's third leg of the Classic Series in 1:51.4, his fifth consecutive mile in 1:52 or faster. He carries an eight-race winning streak, and has captured nine of 10 starts this year, including the $180,000 Cutler Final on May 21 and the $254,800 Titan Cup Final on July 2, both at the Meadowlands. His only loss this year was by a neck in the Su Mac Lad final on April 10, also at the Big M.



Lifetime he has 29 wins, 13 seconds, and three thirds in 52 career starts, and has won $2.3 million for Adam Victor & Son Stable of New York City.



Last Saturday he won by a neck over Sand Vic in one of his closest finishes. A three-week break after the Titan Cup may have left him a little weary at the end.



"He was good this weekend but will be better next week," trainer Noel Daley said. "He's been good every time he raced this year. Every other year he seemed to always have a breathing issue. He's now over that. He now can leave the gate, which he was never able to do. He is a little more versatile than he once was."



Canadian Pacing Derby winner Ponder is the favorite in the Pacing Classic. Ponder, who drew post nine in the field of 10, will be facing Life Source, who won this year's Graduate final and the 2002 Classic Series final, and Boulder Creek, the Haughton runner-up.



The favorite in the Classic Oaks Trot is Peaceful Way, who equaled the world record for 4-year-old trotting mares and scored a head victory over Housethatruthbuilt in last Saturday's third leg. Her time of 1:51.4 matched Beat The Wheel's longstanding record, set on July 8, 1994. Peaceful Way is now a perfect five-for-five this year, and has career earnings of nearly $1.6 million.



The Classic Distaff will have only six lined up behind the gate, including last week's third-leg winner Burning Point, runner-up Glowing Report, and third-place finisher Carolina Sunshine.
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