With two scratches shortening the field for the $431,400 William R. Haughton Memorial to just six horses, the race turned into a wire-to-wire, 1:48.2 journey for Golden Receiver.
"He is an iron-tough horse,” said winning driver Andy Miller. "He's so good off the gate. As soon as I put everybody in a hole I showed him the whip a little bit and he responded, but he was able to relax again.”
Golden Receiver began the 2012 harness meet with a sweep of the Presidential Series, including the $110,500 final on January 28. He is one of only three horses in Meadowlands history to win both the Presidential and Haughton in the same season, joining Red Bow Tie (1999) and Alexie Mattosie (2011). The Mark Harder trainee also captured the $180,000 Graduate on May 12 and $242,500 US Pacing Championship on August 4.
His Haughton win boosted Golden Receiver's record to 12 wins in 19 starts this season and lifted his 2012 bankroll to a career-high $744,925. Lifetime, the 7-year-old son of Village Jove has earnings of $1.39 million for Stable 45, Richard Taylor, Stephen Springer and Nina Simmonds.
Starting from post two, Golden Receiver left strongly and Andy Miller took control of the race with the 7-year-old gelding. Ron Pierce also had We Will See fired up from post eight to try to gain position and he got the job done. Yannick Gingras encouraged Foiled Again, who started from post three, but couldn't keep the whole closed and We Will See slipped in along the pylons.
Golden Receiver worked hard in the first quarter--:25.4--and then enjoyed a brief and relative breather before Foiled Again and Gingras were alongside, with the timer flashing a half-mile clocking of :54. But Golden Receiver showed no signs of faltering. Foiled Again faded and late in the stretch Pierce found racing room for We Will See, but Golden Receiver was never seriously threatened. winning by one-half length over We Will See with Aracache Hanover third. (Meadowlands)