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Statesman prevails in Freeehold feature

February 01, 2020

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Statesman was bet down to favoritism in the Preferred Handicap pace at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, and lived up to his 8-5 billing, winning by a length.

Driver Joe Bongiorno took him back in the early stages, sitting in fourth place most of the way. As they neared the five-eighths point, Bongiorno activated his charge, sending him first-over after early leader Machtu. Statesman grabbed firm control as they turned for home, and despite a late rally from Vapour, Statesman had enough for the victory. The time was an impressive 1:53.2 over a fast Freehold track.

Statesman is co-owned by Joe and Jenn Bongiorno; Jenn handles the training. This was the first start of the year for the 13-year-old veteran, and his 50th career triumph. In 261 races, he’s won 50 times, while bankrolling more than $890,000.

Statesman’s win was one of three for Bongiorno on the Saturday card. He also won the ninth race with J M Mandarin and race 10 with Hardts or Bettor. The former gave Jenn a training double. Mike Russo trained the latter.

Rancousy, Exit Cam, Fox Valley Inferno, Machtu, and Declan Seelster completed the order of finish. (Freehold)

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