NJSS Season Begins At Meadowlands
The first New Jersey Sire Stakes events of the year were the three-year-old colt & filly trots at The Meadowlands, which played host to special guest actor/director Emilio Estevez for the Friday night harness racing card.
Smilin Eli made his first career start a stakes winning endeavour by wearing down the Takter entry of Muscle Mountain and Corky to score in 1:54.4 in the $34,000 colt division.
A homebred from Nick Cimino's multiple stakes-winning mare Gerris Joy, Smilin Eli showed promise enough in two qualifiers to be sent away as the second choice in the wagering. Tim Tetrick reserved the Muscles Yankee colt just off the sensible fractions before fanning wide in the stretch for the win.
Deshawn Minor handles the winner, who offers a world of promise.
The filly division held an even dozen, the bulk resulted in a contested pace. The outside three looked like logical contenders and Shared Past took over from Southwind Cocoa just past the quarter. Left without a seat was Time To Kill, who rode along comfortably in the outer tier for the duration.
The fractions were sensible and despite the pressure, Shared Past held up comfortably in 1:53.4 for Yannick Gingras. Vintage Oaks split horses late for the place and Southwind Cocoa was third.
Trainer Jonas Czernyson has been on some roll since returning from his winter base in Florida. He conditions the winner, a Chocolatier three-quarter sister to the million-dollar winning Dejarmbro for W. J. Donovan of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Friday's handle showed a 36 per cent increase from the same Friday in 2012, with one additional race. There was only one winning ticket in the late Pick 4 at The Meadowlands, returning $53,201 for a $1 bet. The bet was placed at The Meadowlands, but unfortunately the winner was not a Big M Club Rewards member, so he did not get the chance to collect on the 10 per cent bonus.
Racing returns on Saturday featuring the $180,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial Final, the $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity for pacers and New Jersey Sire Stakes action continues for the three-year-old colt and filly pacers. Post time is 7:15 p.m.
To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Meadowlands Racetrack.
(With files from Meadowlands Racetrack / Photos courtesy Lisa Photo)