The fastest three-year-old colt trotter of 2015 is stepping up to face North America's best older trotters as Meadowlands Racetrack hosts the finals of the TVG and the Fall Final Four this coming weekend.
The Meadowlands will host a bevy of Grand Circuit stakes this coming weekend with total purses in excess of $3.3 million combined for the Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21 cards.
Friday is "Ladies' Night" with the finest in female Standardbred talent on display.
The inaugural $200,000 TVG Mare Open finals take place with seven well-matched pacing mares vying for the title. Breeders Crown winner Colors A Virgin, trained by Brian Brown and driven by David Miller, takes on series point leader Venus Delight and last week’s TVG Open winner Sandbetweenurtoes in the seventh race.
A half dozen very accomplished trotting mares seek the winner's share in race twelve. In the absence of division leader D One, Bee A Magician, Classic Martine and Shake It Cerry become the logical choices. Shake It Cerry comes in off a convincing win over the exact same field of mares in the TVG Open of Friday past, the first time she was paired with driver David Miller for trainer Jimmy Takter
Ten freshman filly trotters are led by Breeders Crown winner All The Time in the $409,950 Goldsmith Maid (race 2). The homebred pride of Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld isn’t facing anyone she hasn’t handled before and starts from the rail for the potent trainer/driver duo of Takter and Yannick Gingras.
The $385,250 Three Diamonds (race 8) will showcase eight two-year-old filly pacers with three of those coming from the Ross Croghan barn. Shezarealdeal and Call Me Queen Bee were both acquired for Croghan by Eric Cherry’s Let It Ride Stable and Dana Parham during the racing season and have paid handsome dividends ranking first and second in earnings among the participants.
Saturday brings the $400,000 TVG Open finals. The trotters come up in race seven and among the eight declared is three-year-old The Bank who accepted an invitation as Breeders Crown champ to join his elders. Trainer Takter has him in top form for David Miller, he’ll need his best to battle a solid group of veterans here. After his gutsy Breeders Crown win, he showed that form was no fluke with a win in the American National at Balmoral Park.
There are no surprises among the six pacers in the twelfth race $400,000 TVG final as the usual cast of characters will assemble, series point leader JK Endofanera (Brett Miller) the likely punter’s choice here.
Freshman colts are featured in the $489,400 Valley Victory (race 5) trot. trainer Chuck Sylvester is holding a good hand with both of last week’s elimination winners, Waitlifter K (Tim Tetrick) and Dog Gone Lucky (Corey Callahan), racing out of his stable.
The pacing colts will battle over the $413,000 prize pool in the Governor’s Cup (race eight). The field of ten is extremely well matched and contains Breeders Crown champ Boston Red Rocks. Peter Blood and Rick Berks’ colt has really come to hand for trainer Steve Elliott since Tetrick has taken the reins. Elim winners Katies Rocker and Big Top Hanover will make him earn it.
There was stark contrast at the entry box for two new stakes for three-year-old fillies with a dozen declared for the $173,500 Tarport Hap (race 11) while a mere quartet entered the $144,000 Continentalvictory (race 2).
The Tarport Hap stretches out to a mile and an eighth with two trailers and is a deep and competitive group. A case could be made for literally any of these accomplished young ladies. Divine Caroline has assumed control lately, scoring a Red Mile sweep followed by the Breeders Crown for trainer Joe Holloway and David Miller (who may well be in line for another huge night). Sassa Hanover is the Jugette winner, Bettor N Better qualified well last week and Bedroomconfessions seeks a defining win from the rail.
The presence of Mission Brief and Wild Honey likely had a lot to do with the scant response to the inaugural Continentalvictory, particularly in light of Mission Brief's scintillating 1:50.2f World Record in the Matron last week.
Trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras felt that the mercurial filly was as good as she's ever been in that one and it has taken that type of effort to best Wild Honey (John Campbell) who boasts wins in all of the majors this season.
Post time is 7:00 p.m. each night. There will be a WHHC event on Saturday.
(with files from The Meadowlands)