Divisional champions star in Big M qualifiers
April 22, 2010
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Reigning divisional champions Poof She’s Gone and Fancy Filly were among the winners at qualifying races Thursday morning at the Meadowlands, with the Dan Patch Award winners just two of a star-studded cast of performers that took to the racetrack.
Included among the other qualifying winners were the sophomore colt pacers One More Laugh, who blazed a final quarter of :25.4 to score in 1:52.4, and Dr. Dreamy, who posted a winning 1:51.4 effort, standout filly pacer Put On A Show, who closed out her mile with a last quarter of :26.1, and older trotter Lanson, who rallied from behind to get up in the final strides.
Poof She’s Gone, a 10-time winner in 12 starts last year, including the Breeders Crown final and Merrie Annabelle final, sat fourth for driver David Miller until the final turn when the Richard Norman-trained daughter of Kadabra kicked home in :27.3 to score in 1:58.2.
Fancy Filly, also a 10-time winner in 12 starts in 2010, including the Breeders Crown final and Three Diamonds final, took the lead for good past the half for driver Brian Sears, with the George Teague trainee crossing the wire 1 ¾ lengths in front of the field in 1:52.3. The daughter of Western Hanover easily bested Put On A Show in year-end divisional balloting. This was Fancy Filly's second qualifier of the spring, having won April 15 in 1:53 at the Big M.
Put On A Show, who had seven wins in nine starts last year, also made her first appearance as a sophomore Thursday morning, rallying from fourth at the three-quarter pole to garner the 1:54.4 victory. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover was driven by Tim Tetrick for trainer Chris Ryder.
World champion One More Laugh, being aimed for a 2010 pari-mutuel debut in the Max Hempt Memorial elims May 15 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs by trainer Ray Schnittker, was a two-length winner in a wire-to-wire performance. The son of McArdle won nine of 12 starts last year, including his 1:49.2f world-record win in the Governor’s Cup final at Harrah’s Chester.
Finishing second and third, respectively, behind One More Laugh was Rockin Image and I’m Gorgeous, another pair of divisional heavyweights. Rockin Image was a two-time Grand Circuit-meet winner at The Red Mile last year, while I’m Gorgeous scored on the New York Sire Stakes circuit.
The Teague-trained Dr. Dreamy came right back in the following qualifier to also post a wire-to-wire victory, an effort that followed a third-place qualifying finish one week ago in his seasonal debut. The 3-year-old son of Art Major was a seven-time winner in 2009, including a Nassagaweya division and the Metro consolation.
Schnittker also directed 2009 New York Sire Stakes champion filly trotter Munis Blue Chip to a 1:58 victory in her sophomore debut. She is a daughter of Credit Winner.
Lanson, who won the 2009 Su Mac Lad final by a nose, also won his qualifier by the slimmest of margins. Mike Lachance drove the 6-year-old Self Possessed gelding to the 1:56.3 victory. Trainer Don Swick said Lanson, who also won the American National and Allerage last year, will make his 2010 pari-mutuel debut in the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial on May 7 at the Meadowlands.
Speed-badge honors of the day went to the 5-year-old gelding Bettor Sweet, who romped to an open-lengths win in 1:51. John Campbell drove for trainer Joe Poliseno. The son of Bettor's Delight, who won last year's Classic Series final, brings a $1-million bankroll into the 2010 season,
Another of last year's leading freshman colt pacers made his 2010 debut Wednesday morning at the Southern Oaks Training Center in Florida. With trainer and co-owner Dr. Ian Moore in the sulky, Malicious scored a 1:54 victory, besting 2009 Battle of Waterloo winner--and stablemate--Wellthereyougo. A son of Bettor's Delight, Malicious won eight of 12 starts last year, including a Nassagweya split and Dream Maker Series final. His biggest check of the year came via a fourth-place finish in the $920,000 Metro final, and he also finished third in the Governor's Cup final.