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Muscle Diamond barefoot winner in Vincennes

August 04, 2018

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Racing at the Meadowlands got off to a fast start Saturday, August 4 when Muscle Diamond opened the Hambletonian Day card with a 1:51 victory in the $30,000 Vincennes for open trotters. The six-year-old son of Muscle Hill, racing without shoes, moved three-wide in the stretch for driver Andrew McCarthy and reached the wire first over a quickly-improving track rated sloppy to begin the day. Satin Dancer surged up the inside to narrowly nab second over a fast-closing Lagerfeld.

When the gate folded on the field of nine, Satin Dancer and Pinkman fired from the outside while favorite Obrigado floated out third from post five. Pinkman and Yannick Gingras reached the quarter in :26.3, but was shuffled to second when Mark MacDonald moved the favorite to the front and trotted a :54.2 half. Gural Hanover led the first-over charge, bringing Muscle Diamond and Rose Run Sydney. Matt Kakaley and Gural Hanover collared the leader at three quarters (1:22.4) as the field entered the top of the stretch.

Following Gural Hanover’s lead, McCarthy moved three wide and charged down the lane to pick up his second win in six seasonal starts. Obrigado finished fourth as the favorite. Trained by Brett Bittle, who co-owns the stallion with Charles Keller III, Charles Keller IV and E. Daniel Bittle, Muscle Diamond paid $6.00, $3.80 and $2.80.

Basquiat sets lifetime mark in Zanzuccki
In the $30,000 Frank Zanzuccki for sophomore trotting fillies, Basquiat and Johnny Takter fired to the lead and then patiently sat behind favorite Repentance before dashing clear of the field to win in a lifetime best 1:51.2. It was the first win of the season for the Jimmy Takter-trained Cantab Hall-Thatsnotmyname filly. Courtney Hanover raced second and Perfect Summer K was third. Repentance finished fourth.

Bred and owned by Order By Stable, Basquiat paid $8.40, $4.40 and $3.20. The victory was the first of the day for Takter, who will send out four starters in the Hambletonian eliminations.

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