JL Cruze set to make 2016 debut Friday
March 31, 2016
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At the Meadowlands on Friday night, the 2015 Dan Patch Older Trotter of the Year and Meadowlands all-time track record holder JL Cruze will make his seasonal debut in the second race, a $25,000 Open Handicap Trot.
JL Cruze ascended to the mountain top with a string of remarkable performances at the Meadowlands last year including all of the winter series' then held his form to win both the Graduate final and Hambletonian Maturity. He became the fastest trotter in history on a mile track with his 1:49.4 win in that Graduate final and collected over $660,000 on the strength of 16 wins in 21 starts in 2015 for owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta. Trainer Eric Ell has had him up for a pair of formful qualifiers over the course with regular driver John Campbell at the lines in anticipation of Friday's race. JL Cruze will be a leading contender in the $150,000 (est.) Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff on Sunday, May 8, at the Meadowlands.
JL Cruze will start from the outside post seven as the morning line choice with Crosby's Clam Bake and Opulent Yankee leading the competition from just inside the favorite.
Friday is April Fool's Day and we'll mark the occasion by giving away $1,000 in "It's Raining Cash" and begin the annual countdown to awarding some lucky customer a first-rate trip to the May 7 Kentucky Derby.
For the horseplayers, all of the usual horizontal guarantees continue and the last race Jackpot Hi-5 opens at $154,428 on Friday. Meadowlands oddsmaker and Race Review handicapper Dave Little's observations and comments are available from this link.
Also on Friday, in conjunction with BetAmerica and the World Harness Handicapping Championship, the U.S. Trotting Association is sponsoring an online contest that will provide the top 10 finishers with a free entry ($800 value) into the $50,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship at the Meadowlands on Saturday, April 30. (Meadowlands)