Highalator wins third straight at Meadowlands
October 04, 2020
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It’s easy to run short of superlatives when describing Highalator, and Saturday night at the Meadowlands in the featured Preferred for pacers, he once again showed why.
The 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere-Higher And Higher won his third straight at the mile oval competing in the weekly feature, and rather than prevailing after a nail-biting stretch duel as he did in his last two, the Jenny Bier trainee was moving rather easily this time around as he hit the finish an easy length in front of his closest pursuer.
The game plan rarely changes for Highalator, as his driver Ricky Still had the pedal down around the first turn from post six in the eight-horse field, and while it appeared for a brief moment he might take back into a two-hole behind a fast-leaving Harambe Deo, Still put Highalator on the point while parked past the quarter in :26.3.
“Sometimes, he can get a little lazy when you are trying to put him on the front,” said Still. “But once he gets to the front, he doesn’t want anybody to pass him.”
No pressure came during a rated second panel that went in :28.1, but soon after the half was hit, U S Captain, the 5-2 second choice in the wagering, moved swiftly at the leader around the turn and was just about on even terms with that foe at three-quarters in 1:23.1.
But then Highalator got busy.
Digging in once that threat came, he shrugged off U S Captain in an instant, grabbing a quick 1½-length edge by the time they reached the head of the stretch, and during a final quarter timed in :26.3, there was never an anxious moment, as Highalator recorded the 38th win of his career from only 82 starts. Second-place finisher Slick Tony was disqualified from second to third for interfering with Harambe Deo, who was elevated from third to second in the official order of finish. U S Captain finished a tired seventh.
“No matter what kind of trip you give him, he’s a pretty good horse,” said Still. “He’s such a great horse. He takes care of himself. He’s going to do what needs to get done. Last week and the week before he let them get a little closer than I like. Tonight, I called on him a little earlier than usual.”
Highalator paced the mile in 1:49.4 in lifting his lifetime earnings to $615,864 for owners Jenny Bier, Joann Dombeck and Midsize Construction Inc. The even-money favorite returned $4.20 to win. The public finally caught on. In his last two starts, he returned $11.60 and $11.00.
With four wins in five Big M starts this year, not to mention his sweep of the 2019 Golden Receiver Series, which is Highalator’s favorite track?
“He excels at Pocono," said Still. "But he also excels at The Meadowlands, and that’s probably his favorite.”
Simon Allard had himself a big weekend at the big track. After driving two winners Friday, Allard added three more Saturday. Yonkers kingpin Jason Bartlett also won three times on the Saturday program. The weekend started slowly for players who like favorites, as only five of the first 18 races were won by the post-time choice. The chalkies dug out, however, as faves won six of the final eight dashes. Betting was steady all night long, as a total of $2,638,114 was pushed through the windows. (Meadowlands)