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"Diamond" flexes muscle in Big M feature

November 02, 2018
HOME PRINT

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When it comes to the Meadowlands, Muscle Diamond is very much a horse for the course.
The 6-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Windylane Hanover thrashed five overmatched opponents in the Friday night feature at the mile oval, the $20,000 Preferred Handicap for trotters.
Winning driver Andy McCarthy did not rush the 1-9 favorite to the top, opting instead to make his way steadily to the lead while racing on the outside at the three-eighths before hitting the half in :55.4. A sleepy :29.1 fraction followed as Pappy Go Go – seeking his third straight win – put up a fight from first over, but the Brett Bittle-trained Muscle Diamond rebuffed that challenge before hitting the wire 1¾ lengths in front of a fast-closing Tyson. Pappy Go Go held on for third.
Muscle Diamond, who set his lifetime-best of 1:50.1 at the Big M in late June before taking the Vincennes on Hambletonian Day in 1:51, completed his mile Friday in 1:52.2 to stay perfect in three Meadowlands starts this year. He paid $2.20 to his backers in winning for the 17thtime in 51 lifetime starts while upping his earnings to $755,199 for owners C. Keller III, C. Keller IV, E. Bittle and B. Bittle.

McCarthy had the hot hand all night, taking four races on the card. One lucky simulcast player at Pompano Park had a huge night. He or she was the only player to have all 10 winners in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 and walked away with $10,221. Six favorites hit the winner's circle on the 10-race card, and in two of the races where the public choice lost, the winner's odds were 6-5 (race four) and 2-1 (race eight). ... All-source handle on the program totaled $1,793,526. (Meadowlands)
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