Fourth Dimension ready for Valley Victory
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The Valley Victory is one of the "Fall Final Four" stakes for 2-year-old trotters and pacers Saturday at the Big M. The Valley Victory, for male trotters, is joined by the $420,750 Goldsmith Maid for female trotters, $411,700 Governor's Cup for male pacers, and $381,200 Three Diamonds for female pacers.
In addition, the card includes TVG Series championships for trotters and pacers.
In his start prior to the Valley Victory elimination, Fourth Dimension finished fifth in the Breeders Crown on Oct. 28 at Hoosier Park. He was the 1-2 favorite after winning his Breeders Crown elimination in a track-record 1:54, but was unable to find his footing in the final.
"We were disappointed after the Breeders Crown," Melander said. "He had a lot of problems with the surface that day. It was the same for everyone, but my horse just had a lot of problems with it. He's a horse that really needs some grip and it was just slippery for him. It was too bad it was that day, but there is nothing we can do about it now.
"(Last week) I was very happy with how he looked and how he trotted. He trained good after the Breeders Crown, otherwise I wouldn't have put him in there. He came out of the race good and I'm going to train him (Wednesday) a little bit. He seems very good."
Fourth Dimension has won three of his past four starts, including a 1:52.4 victory in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile. That time is tied for the fastest race mile of the season by a 2-year-old trotter. In addition, the colt set or equaled track records four times this year.
In the Valley Victory, Fourth Dimension's foes include Samo Different Day, who in October won a division of the Madison County at Hoosier Park in a then-track-record 1:54.4. Samo Different Day, who finished second in the Peter Haughton Memorial and Matron Stakes and was third in the Breeders Crown, received a bye to the final.
Also in the field are Matron Stakes winner Wolfgang, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Fashionwoodchopper, Kentucky Sire Stakes winner Hat Trick Habit, and Kindergarten Series winner Tito.
"I'm looking forward to Saturday," Melander said. "He's beaten these horses before. It's a nice group of colts, but I know my horse is one of the best out there. He's showed a lot. He's a very nice colt."
The Goldsmith Maid features elimination winner Plunge Blue Chip, who has won eight of nine races for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Plunge Blue Chip's victories this season also include the Matron Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters. Among the horses joining her in the Goldsmith Maid are stakes-winners Hey Blondie, who received a bye to the final, and Seviyorum, who finished second in the Breeders Crown.
Breeders Crown champion Stay Hungry, who received a bye, leads the group for the Governor's Cup, which also includes elimination winner Springsteen as well as stakes-winners Lost In Time, Closing Statement, and Nutcracker Sweet.
The Three Diamonds features a field that includes Breeders Crown winner Youaremycandygirl and fellow stakes-winners Kissin In The Sand, Rainbow Room, Majorsspeciallady, Strong Opinion, and Reign On Me. Youaremycandygirl, Rainbow Room and Majorsspeciallady received byes. Kissin In The Sand was the elimination winner.
For Saturday's complete Meadowlands entries, click here.--By Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications