Single eliminations for each of the Fall Final Four stakes headlined a 13-race card at the Meadowlands on Saturday night (Nov. 18).
Kissin In The Sand followed her near track-record win two weeks ago in the Kindergarten final with an easy score in 1:52.2 as the 3-10 wagering choice in the Three Diamonds elimination. Tim Tetrick took over the driving duties for the first time with Yannick Gingras committed to Breeders Crown champion Youaremycandygirl, who took a bye to next week’s $381,200 final.
"Kissin raced great and was well in hand," said her trainer Nancy Johansson. "The ear plugs were never pulled. We’re happy that we will draw a good post as I think that could be the difference between her and Youaremycandygirl if they’re both on their game."
Fourth Dimension bounced back from his flat performance in the Breeders Crown final with a front-end stroll in 1:55 in the Valley Victory elimination. He has won seven of 10 career starts for trainer Marcus Melander and owner Courant Inc.
Plunge Blue Chip continued her remarkable freshman season with an impressive win on the front end for Ake Svanstedt in the Goldsmith Maid elimination in which all nine fillies advanced to next week’s final after Basquiat was scratched. Plunge Blue Chip dominated the New York Sire Stakes, but won the Matron nine days ago at Dover and made it 8-for-9 with her win tonight in 1:55.1 with a :26.2 last quarter.
Also on the Saturday card, top-level pacing mares raced in the final preliminary leg of the TVG Free For All series before next Saturday’s finals. Nobody was catching Darlinonthebeach, who came first-over at the half and blew away the all-star group that included two-time Breeders Crown champion Pure Country. The final time was 1:48.3.
"When Darlin is on her "A" game I don’t think many can go with her," said her trainer Johansson. "It’s just unfortunate that she got a staph uterine infection earlier this summer and we didn’t get to see her best. She is super tough and hopefully she’ll get over the million-dollar mark next week."
The third edition of the Pick-10 Survivor wager attracted a total pool of $15,491. Two tickets survived the longest, selecting the winners of the first eight races before both being knocked out after the ninth race. The two winning tickets, purchased through the Oregon Hub and the Catskills, each received $6,580.88.
Total handle on the 13-race card was $2,152,031.
Live racing resumes next Saturday with a 7:15 p.m. post time. The card features the Fall Final Four and four TVG Free For All Finals with total purses in excess of $2 million. (Meadowlands)