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Kindergarten at Meadowlands on Saturday

July 21, 2016

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The first round of the popular Grand Circuit series for 2-year-olds, the Kindergarten Classic, rolls into The Meadowlands this weekend with a brand new look.
Previously just for freshmen of the trotting persuasion, the Kindergarten now offers a spin-off for pacers. The trotting colts and fillies will race on Friday (July 22) with the pacers competing on the Saturday (July 23) card. The series will host a total of five preliminary legs leading into the $600,000 finals on Nov. 5. All Kindergarten leg purses are $10,000.

The trotting colts split three ways and open the Friday stakes action in the second race where a field of eight is led by Andy Miller Stable, Arden Homestead and GTY Stable's Fly On. The talented Muscle Hill colt won a leg of the recently concluded New Jersey Sires Stakesin 1:55.4 then had more trot than room in the final where he rallied to be third. Julie Miller trains and husband Andy will drive Fly On.

International blood courses through the veins of several participants in this year's Kindergarten including a pair of colts in the fourth race. Rubio is by the successful US sire Cantab Hall with a taste of France coming from his dam Italienne Girl via her sire In Dix Huit. He races out of the Jimmy Takter stable and is unbeaten to date, the fastest a 1:57 overnight at The Meadowlands to go with a Pennsylvania All Stars win for driver Yannick Gingras. Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding and Brixton Medical share the ownership of Rubio.

International Moni is one of the last foals from the immortal Moni Maker with French blood on the topside of his pedigree in the form of the accomplished French sire Love You. A winner of a Vernon qualifier in 1:59.4, the royally bred colt will be handled by Tim Tetrick for trainer Frank Antonacci and owners Moni Market Stable.

Victor Gio IT is yet another foreign-bred who has flashed exceptional talent in the morning trials and makes his pari-mutuel debut in the 11th race on Friday. He is by the French champion Ready Cash while his dam, Ilaria Jet, campaigned in Europe and won more than $1.5 million including a heat of the 2010 Elitlopp for Italian interests. Victor Gio IT has flashed wicked foot in both morning trials, winning the latest by a dozen lengths in 1:56.4 for Gingras. Born in Italy, the colt was imported into the Jimmy Takter barn by Italian owners Antonio Somma and Francesco Ruscigno, Swede Nicolas Pietro de Mitri and Mrs. Takter.

Moni Maker's estimable shadow is also cast in the first filly division (race three) as the grand dam of the aptly named Grandma's Moni. She's a Donato Hanover filly who was absolutely vicious in her most recent morning effort, rolling home in :27.1 on the end of a 2:00.2 mile for Tim Tetrick. She is also trained in the Frank Antonacci barn for the Moni Market Stable.

Overdraft Volo is the logical choice in the other filly division (race six) for the Andy and Julie Miller team. She put daylight on her competition in a qualifier last week with a solid 1:56.1 win. Pinske Stables and Kentuckiana Racing Stable share ownership of this classy Yankee Glide lass.

Corntastic is again upon us and will be leading the promotion parade with shucking, lugging and eating among the contested issues. Post time all weekend is 7:15 p.m. (Meadowlands)

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