Trainers dish on Haughton starters
June 29, 2007
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In addition to the Titan Cup, the Saturday card at the Meadowlands also features a pair of $50,000 eliminations for the $700,000 (est.) William R. Haughton Memorial. The top five finishers in the elims, races five and six, advance to the William R. Haughton Memorial Final on Saturday, July 7. Several drivers and trainers in the race gave updates on their contenders:
Total Truth (post two, race six): \"He\'s coming along, rounding into shape,” said trainer George Teague Jr. “He\'s needed some starts. He got shuffled some last week and I thought he finished well. He had a few weeks [three] off before that and he needed the race.\"
Load The Dice (post seven, race six): \"He\'s not as good as he was earlier in the year,” said trainer John McDermott, “but he\'s close and getting there. I\'m happy with his last two races. He\'s improving. I called Tim Tetrick because I had named Cat Manzi to drive, but Artistic Fella drew into the same elimination. I told Tim this is his drive in the final if he wants it.\"
Mister Big (post two, race five) and Jeremes Jet (post five, race five): \"I took Mister Big,” said driver John Campbell of his choice between the two horses. “He was sharp last week and Jeremes Jet qualified very well. This is one of those decisions that could easily be wrong though.\"
Maltese Artist (post one, race five): \"He\'s definitely a better horse from off the pace,” said trainer Mickey Burke. “That’s his game. Last week, he closed a ton and I was happy with the way he finished. He\'s as good now as he was--or even better--than at any time is year.\"
\"Before last week, I last drove him in the Messenger as a 3 year old ,” driver David Miller said of Maltese Artist. “He was sharp last week, finished very well and I think this is a very good spot for him. That last quarter is right, 25.3.\"
JK CU Later (post one, race six): \"He, like Maltese Artist, is going to make us proud this week,” said trainer Mickey Burke. “He\'s about as good right now as he\'s been all year. He\'s training well and I expect a big effort from him this weekend.\"
Holborn Hanover (post seven, race five): \"The last time I drove him, he wasn\'t on top of his game,” said driver George Brennan. “But, it was this time last year when he started getting very good. I\'m hoping for a little deja vu. I certainly have some great memories with him.\"
Buckeye One (post eight, race six): \"I was impressed with him last week,” Brennan said of his choice to drive him over Shark Gesture. “I\'ve driven him before and I liked his mile last week.\" (Meadowlands press release)