A pair of talented trotters hit the winner’s circle in two divisions of the Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot at the Meadowlands Saturday night.
In the first division of the final Hambletonian prep, Met’s Hall was bet down to 3-5 and made the quarter on the point in a leisurely :28. Another rated fraction followed and Met’s Hall was cruising past the half in :57.3.
Hockey Hanover, the only non-Hambo eligible in the field of nine, then shocked the favorite (not to mention the bettors), using an authoritative brush to grab the lead, hitting three-quarters two lengths to the good in 1:25.4 at odds of 49-1.
But despite closing in :27.2, Hockey Hanover couldn’t complete the job.
Met’s Hall had a burst of speed left in his arsenal, and he used it, battling back along the inside, closing in :26.4, to record a neck win over a fast-closing Fashionwoodchopper. Hockey Hanover held third.
With the Hambletonian just a week away, the timing was ideal for Met’s Hall (Cantab Hall-Met’s Inn) to record his first win of the year in just his third start. The heavy favorite, who was driven by Andy Miller and trained by Julie Miller, completed the mile in 1:53 and paid $3.40 in winning for the sixth time in 14 lifetime outings.
Beal Memorial champion Crystal Fashion was a dominant winner of the second Reynolds division. Tim Tetrick had the gelded Cantab Hall-Window Willow product sitting an unhurried sixth in the early going before opting to race in a third-over flow down the backstretch.
With an eighth of a mile to go, Crystal Fashion was tipped off his cover and stormed home to record a one-length victory over Hat Trick Habit in 1:52.4. For A Dreamer was third.
As the 1-5 public choice, Crystal Fashion returned $2.60 to win, scoring for the ninth time in 20 lifetime outings while upping his lifetime bankroll to just over $523,000.
JL Cruze went right to the top and never looked back in the overnight co-feature, the $20,000 Preferred Handicap for trotters. The 7-year-old gelded son of Crazed-Topcat Hall stopped the clock in 1:51.2 and paid $11.40 as the fourth choice in the wagering.
Western Joe sat off a speed duel where Miso Fast and Highalator went toe-to-toe to three-quarters in 1:20.3, then used a final quarter of :26.3 to win the $20,000 Preferred for pacers in a sizzling 1:47.3. In lowering his previous lifetime best by two seconds, Western Joe (Western Ideal-Ante Fay) paid $12.60 as the fourth betting choice.
All-source wagering on the 12-race program totaled $2,335,364. (Meadowlands)