Southwind Frank in 1:52.1 in season debut
May 21, 2016
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All systems appear to be go for early Hambletonian favorite Southwind Frank (pictured), who marched to an easy 2½-length win in his first start as a 3-year-old in a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for trotting colts and geldings Friday night at the Meadowlands.
"He was Frank," said winning trainer Ron Burke. "He couldn't have been any better. It's what we expect from him."
The son of Muscle Hill was unhurried early, and made his way to the top shortly after vacating the four hole at the three-eighths after an opening quarter of :27.4. Meeting little in the way of resistance, driver Yannick Gingras was able to relax his colt and cut moderate fractions of :57 and 1:25 before kicking home in :27.1 to win going away in a lifetime-best 1:52.1. Brooklyn Hill was second while Bar Hopping finished third. Also Friday night, Rose Run Parker held off 3-5 favorite Obrigado to win the $25,000 Open Handicap Trot in 1:50.4.
As the 1-9 public choice, Southwind Frank, who is now 12-for-13 lifetime, returned $2.20 to win for owners Southwind Frank Partners.
Earlier on the card, All The Time ($2.10), a major Hambletonian Oaks contender, crushed seven overmatched foes by 7¼-lengths in a division of the NJSS for 3-year-old trotting fillies in 1:53.2, a lifetime mark. Hillosophical was second with Southwind Pearl third.
Once again, it was Gingras calling the shots, but this time it was with a Jimmy Takter trainee. The 2015 Breeders Crown champion has now won eight of 13 lifetime starts for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.
STILL GROWING: The 12th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five, which has not been hit the entire meeting, failed to have a single-ticket winner again, upping the carryover to $226,527.68 for the next card.
All-source wagering on the program totaled $2,693,370. … The Big M is back with live racing Saturday at 7:15 p.m. (Meadowlands)