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Geartogear second choice

July 14, 2004

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Three months ago Ron Pierce expected to be driving one of the favorites in the Meadowlands Pace, he just didn't believe it would be Geartogear, who won his elimination last weekend and has drawn post two in Saturday's (July 17) $1 million contest. Pierce had committed to drive 2003 divisional champ I Am A Fool, but that horse suffered a recent tendon injury that resulted in his premature retirement.

"Too bad about I Am A Fool," Pierce told The Horseman Wednesday afternoon (July 14). "I was moping for a couple weeks. I was looking forward to racing that colt this year because he was so special."

Pierce, who leads the Meadowlands' driver colony with 228 victories and $3.8 million in purse earnings and was recently nominated for induction into the sport's Living Hall of Fame, won two of the three Pace elims, also scoring with Circle L Kid. He chose the Paul Reid-trained Geartogear for the rich final; ironically the two will start side by side as Circle L Kid (with David Miller picking up the drive) drew the rail.

"The horse I picked off of (Circle L Kid) is real nice...but the one I picked (Geartogear) is a little more handier. I will be able to use him more and I think he can rough it more," explained Pierce, who won the 1997 Meadowlands Pace with Dream Away.

Pierce drove Geartogear to two seconds in a pair of conditioned races at the Meadowlands last May before the son of Grinfromeartoear was shipped to Canada. He won a conditioned event at Mohawk May 24 in 1:53.3 and then finished 7 1/2 lengths behind Georgia Pacific in a Burlington division June 5. Two weeks later he finished fourth in a Clearwater division at Hiawatha Horse Park before returning to the Big M.

Pierce climbed back into the sulky behind Geartogear in a June 25 qualifier at the Meadowlands, which resulted in a 1:52 victory. A schooling effort the following week--complete with a last quarter in an eye-opening :24.4--sealed the deal as far as Pierce was concerned.

"I schooled him at the Meadowlands a couple weeks ago and I just loved him after I schooled him," Pierce concluded. Geartogear is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line behind the 5-2 favored Timesareachanging.
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