Three second-round $15,000 divisions of the Super Bowl headlined an 11-race Thursday program at The Meadowlands. Each of the three divisions featured at least one first-round winner.
The first division featured first round winner Blocking The Way, who ironically was not sent off as the favourite. That honour went to Two Hip Dip at 4/5. The public’s top choice broke in round one but rallied impressively to get back into the race at the end of the mile. The early speed came from Bad I Am who got to the opening quarter in :28. He quickly yielded to the pocket behind Blocking The Way and Andy Miller who would dictate the terms through a :56.4 half-mile and a 1:25.4 third quarter. But trouble was lurking in the form of Two Hip Dip who was following dull-cover but that didn't stop him from exploding through the stretch to win going away by three-plus lengths in 1:54.1
Dave Miller was the pilot for trainer/owner Nick Salenetri.
Propulsion was the headliner in the second division, and he certainly did not disappoint. A compelling winner as a prohibitive favourite in round one, Propulsion once again took all the tote action as the 1-9 choice and while he had to work harder on this night, he still emerged victorious. Electing to sit just off the speed, set by Annapolis, Propulsion trotted along from third position through fractions of :28.4 and :58.1, before pulling first-over towards three-quarters in 1:27.1 and then fighting gamely to fend over Passing Jetta to win in 1:55 flat.
Propulsion was driven by Tim Tetrick for trainer Tony Alagna and owners Brittany Farms, Katz, Libfeld, Goldband, Sbrocco and Little E LLC.
The third division featured a showdown between a pair of round one winners in Opulent Yankee and JL Cruze. In their previous meeting, JL Cruze soundly defeated his rival, but the story played out differently Thursday night. JL Cruze was asked for speed right off the gate and made the lead through fractions of :28.2, :56.4 and 1:25.3. All the while Opulent Yankee was sitting the pocket just behind JL Cruze. Into the stretch, a first over Cue Hall was keeping Opulent Yankee pinned at the pylons, but when that trotter backed away a touch, Opulent Yankee had dead aim on the leader and came charging out of the pocket to nail JL Cruze in the final strides. The wins now stand at one-a-piece going into the rubber match in the $50,000 Final on Saturday, January 24th.
Opulent Yankee is trained by Julie Miller for Little E LLC, Geiger, Settlemoir and Stolz.
Both Jackpot Super Hi-5 pools carried over again. The fifth race carryover now stands at $19,726.07 while the thirteenth race carryover is $42,474.52.
Racing resumes on Friday, with first post time at 7:15 p.m. That program features the second round of the Worldly Beauty series for the pacing fillies and mares.
To view results for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Meadowlands Racetrack.