Ideal Matters Romps In Matts Scooter Final; Pilgrims Toner In 1:48.4
Published: April 24, 2010 9:19 pm ET
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Ideal Matters made it three straight wins as he breezed to victory in the $67,000 Matts Scooter Final on Saturday night at Meadowlands Racetrack.
Driven by Tim Tetrick, Ideal Matters got away fourth off the gate and tracked Versado (Yannick Gingras) to make the lead in a :55 opening half. He easily rebuffed a challenge by Cambassador (Ron Pierce) as they entered the far turn and pulled away from the field for a 3-1/4-length tally in 1:50.2. Europan Union (Andy Miller) closed off a second-over trip to finish second, while Cambassador held third. Ideal Matters was sent off the 3-5 favourite and paid $3.40 to win.
"He's done everything right so far," Tetrick said. "He's a pleasure to drive. He's a push-button horse and can do anything I ask of him.
"[I wasn't going to let Cambassador go], not unless he paced around me, which he was going to have to work hard to do," Tetrick continued. "Every time [Ideal Matters] hears a horse coming, he gets right in the harness himself. I spoke to him a little bit tonight and he took off."
The three-year-old son of Western Ideal-Art Matters improved his record to four wins in five career starts. Breeder Brittany Farms shares ownership of the colt with Adam Victor & Son Stable, Melvin Hartman and Island View Partners. Ideal Matters, trained by Noel Daley, is eligible to the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday, June 26 and $1 million Meadowlands Pace on Saturday, July 17. The colt is Trot Magazine's 12th pick, rated 28-1, in the 2010 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book.
"He will have a couple of weeks off and will likely make his next start in the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes [on May 15]," said Brittany Farms' Myron Bell.
Earlier on the card, World Record holder Rock N Roll Heaven made his 2010 debut a winning one for trainer Bruce Saunders and owner Frank Bellino of Bronxville, New York in a $20,000 pace for three-year-olds. With Daniel Dube in the bike, last year’s Metro Pace and Governor’s Cup runner-up carved out panels of :28.1, :55.4 and 1:23.1 en route to a 1:51.1 score. Eagle Jolt (Yannick Gingras) finished a half-length behind off a pocket trip and Pang Shui (Tim Tetrick) rounded out the top three. The Rocknroll Hanover-Artistic Vision colt, a career winner of $624,186, has the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup on his radar this season and is ranked third, assessed at odds of 8-1, in Trot's Spring Book.
Pilgrims Toners extended his win streak to seven and posted the fastest mile so far this year in North America in Saturday’s $32,000 Invitational Pace.
Yannick Gingras directed the six-year-old son of The Panderosa-Beep Beep through stations of :26.4, :54.1 and 1:21.2 en route to a 1:48.4 career-best effort. The 7-5 favourite held off Shark Gesture (George Brennan) by a neck for his eighth win of the season in 15 starts. Won The West (Dave Miller) finished third.
Trainer Frank Catalfamo shares ownership of the winner with New Jersey residents Joseph Spezio, Patrick Daley and Robert Mills. Pilgrims Toner has banked $129,955 of his $333,784 bankroll this year.
Handle Soars, Meadowlands Pick Six Gets Hit
The nine-day Pick Six carryover and the National Harness Handicapping Championship helped propel Meadowlands Racetrack to its best live and total handles of the meet on Saturday, April 24.
The total all sources handle was $4,031,158. The previous meet high was $3.7 million wagered on January 23. The live handle was also the best of 2010, with $648,889 wagered on the live card in the building, easily surpassing the previous high of $617,501 on February 20.
After a nine-day carryover, the Meadowlands Pick Six was finally hit on April 24. The wager returned $5,147 for a $1 ticket. The total Pick Six pool was $511,350, $65,042 of which was bet at the Meadowlands. The winning sequence was: 2-Cannae Barron ($10), 2-Ideal Matters ($3.40), 7-Western Shore ($16.80), 1-Fred And Ginger ($5.80), 4-Distinct Color ($7.80) and 6-Master Stroke ($4.80). A 10-day carryover produced a record $1.3 million pool and $193,384 payoff on April 4, 2009, when five winning tickets took down the pool. A $1 base wager, the Pick Six is offered nightly on races four through nine.
Joseph Fierro of Holstville, New York captured the $20,000 grand prize in the 2010 National Harness Handicapping Championship, a tournament that brought together horseplayers from across North America. Fierro finished the tournament with a $1,909 bankroll to top the field of 106 players competing for $50,000 in prize money. The NHHC contest format required contestants to bet 10 races: eight Meadowlands races of their choice, plus one mandatory race each from Balmoral and Woodbine racetracks. Bets had to meet a $40 minimum, $100 maximum per race. Contestants could only bet one horse per race and wagers could either be win, place or a combination of the two.
To view Saturday’s results, click here.
(With files from Meadowlands Racetrack)