J A T O scores shocker in Meadowlands trot
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Forgotten on the toteboard in a talented and deep field, J A T O scored a 25/1 upset in the $20,000 featured trot at the Meadowlands on Friday night.
J A T O, the former two-time New York County Fair Sire Stake champion, has blossomed into a high-level trotter in the barn of leading trainer Ron Burke.
Favored Melady's Monet moved to the front from his outside post position before a half mile in :56. Meanwhile, Anthony Napolitano, who is expected to become a Friday night regular in the Meadowlands driving colony, had J A T O perfectly positioned in a second-over trip following Crosbys Clam Bake. Past three-quarters in 1:25.1, Napolitano tipped J A T O three wide and grinded by Melady's Monet in deep stretch to win by a neck in 1:54.1.
B Yoyo rallied for third with Muscle Diamond fourth.
J A T O paid $52.60 for a $2 win bet and keyed a $2 trifecta worth $1,906.40.
It was J A T O's 33rd lifetime win from 52 career starts. His earnings move to $155,648 for owners Our Horse Cents Stables, Burke Racing, J&T Silva Stables, and Rossie Smith.
In the co-feature, Penpal turned in another jaw-dropping performance for trainer/driver Pat Lachance. The stakes-placed 4-year-old mare settled in last for the first half mile before launching an eye-catching move three-wide to make the front by the top of the stretch. From there, the career earner of more than $300,000 opened up to win by two lengths in 1:51.4, last quarter in :27.1.
Penpal is nominated to The Golden Girls, Lady Liberty, and TVG Mares Pace.
David Miller and Jim Marohn, Jr. posted driving doubles. Total handle was $2,507,013.
Racing resumes Saturday with an 11-race program headlined by a $20,000 conditioned pace. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com.