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Dial Or Nodial finds winning case; Muscles flexed in 2CT

July 11, 2008
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Dial Or Nodial stamped himself as one to watch with a scorching 1:51.4 victory in the $175,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship for 2-year-old pacing colts on Thursday night at the Meadowlands.

Driver Brian Sears, who swept both NJSS finals on the card, made a backside brush to the lead with Dial Or Nodial and eased him to the three-quarter marker in 1:25. Sears let the colt loose at the top of the stretch and he sprinted a :26.4 final panel, pulling away by 4 1/2 lengths. Vintage Master and Allamerican Improv finished second and third, respectively. Dial Or Nodial paid $5.40 to win the sixth race.

“That was pretty impressive,” Sears said of Dial Or Nodial’s clocking. “I was thinking tonight that it’s only his second start, he’s got the two hole and I don’t think he’s going to want to get in behind the car. Sure enough, when we got to the gate he was really leery about going in behind the car, but he overcame it. It feels like he’s really got an engine. Jimmy (trainer Jim Campbell) made a shoeing change on him, gave him a little more grip up front.  It definitely helped. He was real solid tonight. I know he’s not eligible for the Woodrow Wilson, but it looks like he’s got a few nice dances later on.”

Dial Or Nodial, trained by Jim Campbell, is perfect in two career starts. Arlene and Jules Siegel own the homebred son of Western Ideal-Smart Dialing.

“He’s a very fast colt,” Campbell said. “He got off to a slow start this year in training. A few months ago, he started showing speed and he’s just taken off from there. (Last week) the track was a little deep and Brian was asking for him a little speed and he wasn’t gripping the track the way he should, so we made a change.\" 

Campbell returned to training full time in 2007 after a brief hiatus during which he opened a pizzeria in Point Pleasant, N.J.  Last September, he resumed his partnership with the Siegels, with whom he teamed to win the 1995 Hambletonian with Tagliabue.

“We’ve got 33 horses in the barn right now and things are working out good,” Campbell said. “They bred (Dial Or Nodial) themselves and they are very proud of him. The stallions at the farm have really taken off.  We have a great barn of broodmares and from the breeding end it’s really taken off.”

While Sears also guided Muscle Hill to victory in the $175,000 championship for trotting colts, it was trainer Ray Schnittker who really cleaned up as his trainees finished second, third and fourth in the race. 

Muscle Hill, the lone horse in a five-part entry not trained by Schnittker, sat a second-over trip as his entrymate Homer Jay carved the fractions up front.  He maneuvered around Vacation Day, who broke stride on the final turn, and surged past Homer Jay in the stretch for a length tally in 1:57.2.  Meyer Winsky and Tad The Stud, also Schnittker trainees, finished third and fourth, respectively.

Muscle Hill posted his first win in two starts for trainer Greg Peck and owners Jerry Silva and TLP Stable. The son of Muscles Yankee-Yankee Blondie was a $55,000 yearling purchase at the Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg. He closed to finish a neck behind Homer Jay in the first round of the sire stakes last week.

“I thought he was on the right line last week and he was still able to trot home in :27.3,” Sears said. “When we got that correction made, I thought he had a shot and everything worked out. I was second-over on his back (Vacation Day). I don’t know if he made a break or tried to run out, but I was a little ways off. My horse trotted home real hard. He looks like he has the ability. He hasn’t gotten tired yet and has high speed.”
 
Trainer Greg Peck said the colt benefited from a shoeing change: “I tried a set of aluminum shoes to adjust him a little and they weren’t working out, so Dennis (the paddock blacksmith) nailed steel shoes back on and that worked out well tonight. With these trotters, you kind of tinker with them a little bit and they overcome the mistakes that you make. I should have put (the steel shoes) on in the first place, but it worked out well.” (Meadowlands)
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