Displaying no ill effects after being away from the races for almost a month, Resolve powered down the road to an easy one length win in the $200,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial final for trotters at the Meadowlands Friday night.
The winner's last start came in the May 29 Elitlopp at Solvalla (Sweden) when the 5-year-old son of Muscle Hill finished second to Nuncio.
"The horse was very good," said winning trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. "He came back home (from Sweden) and it took him two weeks to get back to normal."
Too bad for his foes.
Resolve, the even-money favorite, was sent away fast from post seven and had the lead at the quarter in :27.1. Svanstedt did a masterful job of rating the second fraction, which was timed in a sleepy :30 as they hit the half in :57.1. Obrigado, the 2-1 second choice fresh off wins in the Maxie Lee and Hill Memorial, vacated the four hole at the seven-sixteenths and grinded his way into contention at three-quarters, which went in 1:25.4. Then Svanstedt hit the gas and Resolve responded with a final quarter of :26.3, leaving Obrigado behind while opening up a safe lead.
Flanagan Memory, who went a third-over trip, closed well through the stretch to end up a no-threat second. Obrigado held third. Early-season sensation JL Cruze was fourth.
Resolve trotted the mile in 1:52.2 and paid $4.20 to win for owner Hans G Enggren.
Medusa won her second straight $25,000 Open Handicap Mares pace in determined wire-to-wire fashion for driver Brett Miller and trainer Andrew Federico Jr. The 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight went the mile in a lifetime-best 1:49.2 and paid $3 to win as the 1-2 favorite.
The 5th race 20-cent Jackpot Super High Five did not have a single-ticket winner, increasing the carryover to $20,452.28, while the 11th race version of the wager, unhit since the beginning of the meeting in November, saw its carryover swell to $264,140.15. Both pots of gold will be up for grabs on the next program. (Meadowlands)