The Big Muscle posts sixth straight win
February 08, 2020
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The Preferred Handicap Trot and the Preferred Handicap Pace served as the co-features on the 13-race Freehold Raceway card on Saturday (February 8). One proved a tale of continued dominance, another was an underdog story.
The Big Muscle won his sixth start in a row in the Preferred Handicap trot, scoring as the 8/5 favorite for new connections. Driver Pat Berry put his drive where he likes to be: on the front end. He cleared to the top without much trouble from post three, and set mild fractions of 29.3 for the quarter and 58.3 for the half. He tried to get away nearing the three-quarter point, but Dan Dube poured the first-over pressure on with What Chapter. At the top of the stretch, The Big Muscle's chances looked dicey, but he managed to hold on and win by a head in 1:57.
Since making his local debut back in December, The Big Muscle has been on a dominant streak, winning at four different class levels. In his last start, he equaled the trotting track record for older geldings, winning in 1:55.4. Originally owned by Bain Racing Stable and trained by Nick Surick, he was claimed out of that race by owner William Emmons and trainer Armand Bernard. On the year, he's now earned $21,850.
What Chapter held on for second, while Dot Dot Dot Dash closed for third. Drazzmatazz, Rock of Cashel, Northern Credit, and Chasin' Dreams completed the order of finish.
The Preferred pace, meanwhile, saw a surprise winner, in 12/1 Drinkin Again. Employing a change of tactics from his usual come-from-behind style, driver Jack Baggitt elected to send him to the front, and dropped him in the pocket off early leader Another Daily Copy. As they turned for home, Baggitt shot him out of the pocket for a clear shot at the leader, and powered by to win by half a length. The final time was 1:54.4.
That was Drinkin Again's second win in a row, after a 34/1 win in a NW $8,000 pace last week. He's owned and trained by Phil Jasper. His win means there will be a pick 5 carryover into Thursday's card, worth $1,229.85.
Another Daily Copy held second at 9/1 after setting the pace. Caviart Max, Ginger Tree Marty, Lyons Steel, Rancousy, Declan Seelster, and Vapour rounded out the order of finish. (Freehold)