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Veteran trotter returns

March 28, 2007

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Three-time millionaire Mr. Muscleman returned to the races Wednesday morning, one of four winners harnessed by trainer Noel Daley and driven by Mike Vanderkemp in qualifiers at Spring Garden Ranch in Florida.

Mr. Muscleman, making his first appearance since finishing third in the Classic Series final at Dover Downs Nov. 27, took the lead after the opening :31 quarter and trotted through fractions of 1:02 and 1:31 before crossing the wire in 1:59.4 a neck in front of Celebrity J Lo.

Now seven, the gelded son of Muscles Yankee has won 33 of 63 career starts on his way to $3,370,982 in earnings for owner Adam Victor & Son Stable.

Daley and Vanderkemp also teamed up for victories with a trio of leading 3-year-old pacers. The five-race card started off with Vanderkemp directing Allamerican Bomber to a 4 1/4-length win in 2:01. A gelded son of Real Artist, Allamerican Bomber won once in five starts last year, that coming via a 1:52.4 effort in a Bluegrass division at The Red Mile in late September.

Cue The Paige won for the duo with a 1:59.3 effort, holding on by a nose over the Daley-trained, Mark Cullen-driven Isaac Newton. Cue The Paige, a son of Real Desire, had three wins and three seconds last year on his way to $112,812 in earnings. Among his victories were Kentucky Sire Stakes events, and he finished his year with runner-up outings in the $200,000 Sire Stakes final, a Bluegrass division and a dead-heat second-place effort in an International Stallion Stakes division, all at The Red Mile.

No Perfect Escape finished off the morning program with a 1:59.4 victory. The gelded son of Artiscape had two wins and a second in three starts last year, including 1:53.1 efforts in a late-closer at The Red Mile and the Hayes Memorial at Du Quoin, Ill.

The other qualifier went to 3-year-old gelding trotter Enjoy The Tour. Warren Harp trains and drives the gelded son of Enjoy Lavec, who crossed the wire in 2:00 flat.
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