Let It Ride N brings win streak to Yonkers Monday
January 11, 2021
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Let It Ride N will make his Yonkers Raceway debut in the featured $30,000 Open Handicap Pace on Monday night. The move to the Hilltop comes after the Rock N Roll Heaven gelding took a Meadowlands Preferred/Open Handicap in such style as to garner praise like “he really amazed me,” from trainer Nifty Norman.
In that start Jan. 2, driver Dexter Dunn slotted Let It Ride N into seventh after starting from post nine as Harambe Deo ripped an opening quarter in :26.1. Let It Ride N followed the second-over cover of Rock Diamonds N and drew within four lengths of the lead as Harambe Deo blitzed a :53.2 half-mile. Dunn tipped Let It Ride N three deep at the midway point of the final turn and the pacer rocketed into contention.
Under a tight hold, Let It Ride N angled into the stretch on even-terms with Harambe Deo. Dunn took a glimpse over his right shoulder and saw rival Hesa Kingslayer N, who followed Let It Ride N third-over, still two lengths behind and under urging. Dunn pulled the plugs at the furlong marker and Let It Ride N didn’t let up, extending through the finish line to cap the mile with a :26.1 final quarter and stopping the clock in 1:48.1, just one-fifth of a second off Golden Receiver’s record January mile at the Meadowlands in 2012.
“You just don’t see an 8-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven come from Down Under and do this sort of thing,” Norman said. “I was hoping he was a winners-over type of horse. He’d been a classy old horse, but he hadn’t been very good for a couple years. He trained down good, he qualified good, every start has been good. But his last race was unbelievable. He just seems like he’s getting better all the time, too.”
Bred in New Zealand, Let It Ride N won his first four starts at the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club for trainer Tim Butt with Dunn in the sulky from Feb. 10, 2017 to March 31, 2017. Over the next year, Let It Ride N went unplaced in four Group 1 races in his home country, but found better luck in Australia.
Let It Ride N won six straight races at Tabcorp Park Menangle and Albion Park between May 26, 2018 and July 21, 2018, including a pair of Group 1 stakes in the $100,000 New South Wales Breeders Challenge Four-Year-Old Entires and Geldings final, in which he paced the mile in 1:49.4, and the $200,540 Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship over 2,680 meters with Dunn driving.
After that Blacks A Fake win, which saw Let It Ride N explode out of the pocket to win by five lengths, the brilliance seemed to fade. Let It Ride N won just three of his next 27 starts through Sept. 26, 2020. Tim and Anthony Butt, longtime friends of Norman, thought the horse would benefit from Lasix and a deal was made to export the horse to the U.S.
“Basically, I think putting him on Lasix turned him around,” Norman said. “We didn’t do a lot with him. His feet were a little sore, we changed his shoeing, put him on Lasix, and that was that. He’s such a good-winded horse. He must have a big set of lungs because he never seems to get tired. Nothing bothers him.”
Let It Ride N was cleared to the U.S. Oct. 5, 2020 and made an impression as soon as he arrived in Norman’s stable. Norman says Let It Ride N is easy to be around, is a simple horse to train, and describes him as a gentleman.
“He’s a grand looking horse. He’s a big, strong fellow. He’s got a great, big hind end on him and he’s in great shape,” Norman said. “He looks after himself really well. He’s got a good coat and always carries lots of weight. He’s a good-looking horse and good-natured, good to be around. He doesn’t do anything wrong. He’s a real nice horse.”
Let It Ride N was ready to qualify in short order and did so at Harrah’s Philadelphia Nov. 11, 2020 with assistant trainer Scott Petherick in the bike. Off a pocket trip, Let It Ride N came home in :27.2 to post a two-length win in 1:55.1. From there, Let It Ride N ran up a five-race win streak culminating with that “amazing” Meadowlands win Jan. 2. Dunn drove in each pari-mutuel start.
“Scotty qualified him and he said, ‘Jeez, this is the real deal. He’s strong as hell.’ Once we raced him a couple times — and we just raced him off the pace to see how he would be — Dexter came back and said, ‘This thing is a bull,’” Norman recalled. “I said, ‘It would be great if I could get him back to where he used to be.’ He said, ‘I think he’s there already. He feels better than he ever did when I drove him.’ I felt pretty good after he said that.” (SOANY)