One week after breaking stride in a disastrous start to his 2018 campaign, Sutton came back with a superb performance at the Meadowlands in the Friday night (April 13) feature, the second and final leg of the Shiaway St. Pat series for trotters.
After disappointing the chalk players last week – finishing last in a seven-horse field as the 3-5 public choice – Sutton’s trainer Julie Miller added trotting hobbles to the 5-year-old son of Donato Hanover and everything worked to perfection.
In the early stages, it was the Millers’ Opulent Yankee who had the lead. The 4-5 favorite had the top at the quarter, yielded the point to Royal Becca J at the half, and then retook the front at three-quarters, leaving Sutton uncovered.
Andy Miller moved Sutton to the pocket briefly when Opulent Yankee was clear at the head of the stretch, but Sutton had more in the tank, and after tipping to the outside, he used a final quarter of :27.2 to overtake his stablemate – who would taste defeat for a second straight week as the odds-on choice – on the way to a 1-1/4-length win in 1:51.3. Opulent Yankee held second with Perseverance grabbing the show dough.
Sutton returned $15.80 to win for owners Andy Miller Stable and Jason and Douglas Allen.
Next Friday’s $52,500 Shiaway St. Pat final shapes up as a great matchup with Sutton, Opulent Yankee, and leg one winners Elysium Lindy (who broke at the start of Friday’s race) and Deep Impact (who took the week off).
A LITTLE MORE: Andy McCarthy kept up his winning ways, scoring three times on the card. His 21 wins since his March 16 return are tops in the driver colony. … Make it seven straight Pick-4 pools of at least $88,000, as a total of $90,804 was poured into the pot of the Big M’s signature wager. … Speaking of seven, that’s how many favorites won on the 10-race card. … The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five did not result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $189,336. … All-source wagering totaled $2,210,132. … Racing resumes at the Meadowlands Saturday at 7:15 p.m. (Meadowlands)