In advance of a Taylor Swift concert at the adjacent MetLife Stadium, sophomores were shaking it off — it being rust — during qualifying action on Saturday (May 27) at The Meadowlands.
Mommamia Volo flashed a :27 final quarter to win in her second appearance of the year, tripping the timer in a lifetime best 1:53.4 for driver Todd McCarthy, trainer Carter Pinske and owners Kentuckiana Racing Stable of Lexington, Ky. and Jorgen Jahre Jr. of Sandefjord, Norway.
The connections surely have high hopes for the daughter of Tactical Landing - Margarita Momma, a half-sister to the accomplished and dangerous Amigo Volo and a two-time winner from seven rookie starts.
Another regally-bred trotter to win a qualifier on Saturday afternoon was Dapper, who closed in :26.3 for trainer-driver Lucas Wallin to pick off temposetter Novel (Andy McCarthy) and Challenger (Tim Tetrick) to his qualifier by a nose in a life's best 1:54.
Also a two-time winner at two, Dapper (Walner - D One) is owned by Quite The Dapper of New Egypt, N.J.
Last seen at Pocono winning a division of the PA All-Stars on May 7 for her fifth straight score, C Is For Cookie tightened for a return to action with a confident 1:54.1 mile for driver Scott Zeron and trainer Linda Toscano.
Seth Rosenfeld (as Birnam Wood Farms) bred and owns the daughter of Betting Line - Sweet Future, thus hailing from the accomplished family of Sweet Lou, Bettor Sweet and Captain Crunch.
An O'Brien Award finalist in 2022, Winners Bet put forth the fastest mile of the day on the trot in his first appearance of 2023. After Sonofamistery (Mattias Melander) rolled offstride at the head of the lane, Winners Bet slugged it out with Point Of Perfect (Yannick Gingras) through the stretch and got a head in front at the wire for the lifetime best 1:53.1 decision.
A winner of three races and $434,938 as a rookie, Winners Bet (Walner - Side Bet Hanover) was driven to victory by Scott Zeron for trainer Domenico Cecere and owners Lindy Farms Of Connecticut and Robert Rudolph of Vineland, N.J.
The fifth and final qualifier had its fair share of star power, and a bit of drama all the same. According to reports from The Meadowlands, Allywag Hanover did not want to turn to the gate in his qualifier today and required help to do so. He made a break before the start and spotted the field a good number of lengths (as shown in the video below).
That qualifier was won by Allywag Hanover's stablemate Combustion, a wire-to-wire winner in 1:52.2.
This qualifier was the third of the season for Combustion (Captaintreacherous - Acquavella) who is likely pointed for the 2023 Pepsi North America Cup eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 10. Brett Pelling trains the six-time winner for Diamond Creek Racing of Wellsville, Penn., Thomas & Scott Dillon of Anson, Maine and Cooper Silva Stables of Boca Raton, Fl.