Villiam, Fortune Starlet score in NJSS Finals
July 13, 2019
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It was a case of long and short at the Meadowlands in a pair of New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals Friday night, as Villiam scored at 85-1 in the 2-year-old colt and gelding pace while 3-5 shot Fortune Starlet dominated in the 2-year-old filly trot.
Villiam, a gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Village Mirage, had plenty of action unfold in front of him as the top three horses in the wagering – 3-1 Follow Your Heart, even-money Rockin The Gates and 8-5 Rockin The Aces – all battled for supremacy from the quarter to the three-quarters, and that suited driver Tim Tetrick just fine, who had Villiam in a third-over flow around the far turn.
Rockin The Aces was dead game to the wire after racing uncovered for the final half-mile but got nailed by the smallest of noses at the finish. Follow Your Heart was third. The win payout of $172.60 was the highest of the meeting at the Big M. It was Villiam's first victory in three lifetime starts for trainer Eric Foster. The time for the mile was 1:53.1.
"I didn't think about winning at three-quarters, I just wanted to get a good check," said Tetrick. "But those other colts beat themselves up and I picked up the pieces."
Fortune Starlet ($3.20 to win), a daughter of Trixton-Fortune Dream, had no anxious moments in her dash, grabbing the lead while parked at the half before powering clear of her foes by five lengths in 1:54.3 in winning for the second time in three starts. Caviart Eva finished second but was off stride at the wire and placed fourth behind official second-place finisher Jula Champagne and Spoiled Princess, who was placed third.
"She's got a beautiful gait and a great attitude," said winning driver Dexter Dunn of the George Ducharme trainee. "She showed last week (when she won in 1:55.4) what she can do. She's still learning a little, but she's got a bright future."
Before the betting card, two other NJSS Finals were conducted.
Play Trix On Me, a son of Trixton-Lima Playmate, took the 2-year-old colt and gelding trot in 1:55.3 for driver Tetrick and trainer Gareth Dowse to stay perfect in four lifetime tries.
Ready Set Rock, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven-Popcorn N Peanuts, took the 2-year-old filly pace. Driver Andy McCarthy guided the winner to a 1:56.3 score for trainer Michael Hall.
A LITTLE MORE: Leading driver Yannick Gingras had the hot hand once again, scoring five times on the program, twice with Per Engblom trainees. ... Chalk players cashed plenty of tickets on the card, as eight favorites visited the winner's circle. ... All-source handle on the 14 races totaled $2,682,541. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. with a stakes-laden 13-race card that features the $682,650 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace.