One More Laugh In A Meadowlands Pace Thriller
Published: July 17, 2010 9:59 pm ET
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The Ray Schnittker-trained One More Laugh rallied off cover to nip Rock N Roll Heaven at the wire in a sizzling 1:47.4 mile in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace on Saturday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
With the inside advantage, Kyle Major (Jody Jamieson) took the early lead and stung Rock N Roll Heaven (John Campbell) to the first quarter in :25.4. Rock N Roll Heaven cleared the lead down the backstretch and hit the half in :53. At that point, Rockin Image (Yannick Gingras) went first up and applied pressure past three-quarters in 1:20. Those two battled down the lane but One More Laugh and Tim Tetrick came flying off cover on the outside to get up just in time for the victory. Valentino (George Brennan) finished third.
One More Laugh equaled the world record for a three-year-old gelding on a mile track with a 1:47.4 final clocking. He paid $8.20, $4.00 and $3.40 across the board. Rock N Roll Heaven returned $3.20 and $2.80, while Valentino paid $7.40 to show.
Tetrick, 28, became the first driver to win the track’s signature event twice before the age of 30. He scooted up the rail to win the 2007 edition with Southwind Lynx. Tetrick’s Pace win boosted his purse earnings past the $6 million-mark for the season, giving him a substantial lead in the North American driver standings.
“If I wouldn’t have been [sitting in the pocket], I wouldn’t have caught [Rock N Roll Heaven],” Tetrick said. “I got lucky and got a good spot and a perfect trip. I give my horse all the credit in the world. He’s been right there every week, but just hasn’t had good luck. Today, I did my job and he was right there. He doesn’t get tired. He keeps going and doesn’t give up. I knew we were going really fast and my horse still felt comfortable at the top of the lane. It took the whole lane to get by those colts.”
“It was a hard race and he raced tremendously,” driver Campbell said of 8-5 favourite Rock N Roll Heaven. “One More Laugh raced well and you have to tip your hat to him. My horse was tremendous, he just got beat. He showed a lot of courage.”
One More Laugh delivered Ray Schnittker his first Meadowlands Pace trophy and second million-dollar win in two years. The trainer won the $1.5 million Hambletonian with undefeated Deweycheatumnhowe in 2008. He became the sixth trainer in history to capture both the Pace and Hambletonian, joining the elite company of William Haughton, Ray Remmen, Chuck Sylvester, Steve Elliott and Blair Burgess.
“He had a ton of pace [in his elimination], which was a very positive step for this race,” Schnittker said. “Nothing’s ever going to beat winning the Hambletonian with Dewey. He went undefeated and was an unbelievable horse, but this horse is just a tough, really good horse. He’s a gelding, so we’ll be racing him. Hopefully, he’ll be around another five years racing in the Breeders Crown.”
One More Laugh has now won 12 of 19 career starts and $1.3 million for Schnittker of Middletown, New York and co-owners Mathias Meinzinger of Central Islip and Jerry Silva of Long Beach. Meinzinger bred the son of Mcardle-Fancy Creek. One More Laugh is expected to race in the Oliver Wendell Holmes on Hambletonian Day, Saturday, August 7.
Foreign Officer upset the field in the $100,000 Meadowlands Pace consolation, stopping Iam Bonsera (Jody Jamieson) by a half-length in 1:49.4. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Foreign Officer posted his first win since capturing his Berry’s Creek elimination on May 1.
The son of Western Ideal-Allamerican Coco improved his career slate to four wins in 18 starts for trainer Tony Alagna and owners Brittany Farms, John Fielding, Mel Hartman and John Fodera.
The $1.2 million undercard featured the Stanley Dancer Memorial, the last prep race for three-year-old colt trotters headed toward the $1.5 million Hambletonian on August 7. Early Hambletonian favourite Holiday Road won his Dancer division in a well-rated 1:54 for driver Brian Sears and trainer Greg Peck, the team behind 2009 Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill. The other Dancer divisions went to Hes A Demon (Jody Jamieson) in 1:53.1 and Muscle Massive (Ron Pierce) in 1:53.4, one of three stakes winners on the card for trainer Jimmy Takter.
Takter also swept a pair of $200,000 New Jersey Sire Stake Championships with two-year-old trotters Thatsnotmyname (John Campbell) in 1:56.1 and Leader Of The Gang (Ron Pierce) in 1:56. Leader Of The Gang matched the NJSS record set 18 years ago by Yankee Glide.
A Pace win eluded Bruce Saunders and John Campbell with favourite Rock N Roll Heaven, but the trainer and driver team found themselves in the winner’s circle two races later with Lookinforadventure in the New Jersey Sire Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing colts. Lookinforadventure extended his streak to three with a 1:52 clocking. Frank Bellino owns the son of Rocknroll Hanover-Student Driver.
Driven by George Brennan, Ace Of Pace, an undefeated daughter of Cams Card Shark-Whatsupcuz, became the fastest two-year-old filly in NJSS history with the 1:52.3 mile victory that erased the 1:53 record she had set and then shared with Lionness Hanover a week earlier in back-to-back preliminary legs of the Sire Stakes series. It was the third win in as many starts for Ace Of Pace, owned by Belle Amore Stable of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mark Ford was the winning trainer.
To view Saturday's results, click here.
(With files from Meadowlands Racetrack & NJSS)