Pacinello, BG's Folly, River Shark win series finals
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Pacinello picked up his second series crown with a front-end victory in the $88,000 Exit 16 W, one of three stakes finals contested Saturday night at Meadowlands Racetrack. The Junior Trendsetter final went to BG’s Folly (1:51.3) while River Shark (1:50.3) rallied to take the Aquarius.
Pacinello, with Tim Tetrick in the sulky, seized command from Majestic Jackpot past the opening turn and never looked back en route to a career best 1:50.2 victory. He paid $12.60 to win the event for 4-year-old pacers. Woodstock Hanover, who was locked in until midstretch, finished second, beaten three lengths. Lisagain held third after racing uncovered most of the mile.
“I was outside looking over and saw we weren’t going a whole lot [out of the starting gate],” Tetrick said. “I was going to get behind Brian [Sears and In Over My Head], but then we’d be fourth-over, which wasn’t good. So, I thought I’d go to the front. I saw that George [Brennan and Woodstock Hanover] got away second, and I thought I’d follow him if he came and if not, I’ll cut [the mile]. My horse felt really, really good. I looked over going into the last turn and there was no one who was coming at me.”
Pacinello rallied from far back to win the $90,000 Complex Final on Jan. 23 at Meadowlands Racetrack. The son of Little Steven was the star of his class in the California Sire Stakes last season for father-and-son Rick and Luke Plano. He is racing under the care of trainer Jim Doherty at the Meadowlands. Bred and owned by D&E Racing of Las Vegas, NV, the pacer has now won 18 of 37 career starts and $221,420.
BG’s Folly romped to a 1:51.3.victory in the $75,000 Junior Trendsetter Final for 3-year-old pacers. BG’s Folly and driver Ron Pierce yielded the lead to Wayne The Lefty past the quarter, angled out of the pocket at the head of the stretch and sprinted away in a final quarter of :26.4. Wayne The Lefty was left more than six lengths behind, while Most Happy Dragon held third. BG’s Folly returned a $6.20 win mutuel.
“The first time I raced the colt, I knew he was this good,” Pierce said. “He’s still green, still learning. As you can see, he still does little baby things out there. [Assistant trainer] Sam DePinto is doing a great job of bringing him around and teaching him and training him. He definitely has the ability to step up. He’s really slick-gaited.”
George Berkner trains BG’s Folly, while his wife, Virginia, co-owns the 3-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover with Chad Aaron of Morgansville, NJ, Martin Goldman of North Caldwell, NJ and William Salmeri of Albany, NY. BG’s Folly has now won two of six career starts and $50,045.
River Shark drafted behind the dueling leaders and stormed home to win the $80,000 Aquarius Final for 4-year-old open pacers. River Shark and driver Daniel Dube cleared the lead at the quarter-pole but quickly relinquished it to Keep It Real, who rushed up to command top before the half. Dube and River Shark exited the pylons to follow Go Go Solano as he dueled with Keep It Real around the final turn. River Shark seized open road in the stretch and surged past the tiring leaders to stop the pocket-sitter Handsome Harry by a half-length in 1:50.3. Keep It Real held on to finish third, just a length behind them. River Shark paid $6.40.
“It worked out well,” Dube said. “We got a two-hole trip and when another one made a break [Drop Red, who was third-over behind Go Go Solano] I could get out. I didn’t want to take a chance and get locked in with him and he responded well.”