Freehold Raceway hosted a pair of three-year-old paces on Saturday (Sept. 4) as part of the New Jersey Sire Stakes-Standardbred Development Fund series.
The second leg of the series for three-year-old fillies drew three entries, and was held as a non-betting race as a result. There was little drama, as Always B Laughin turned it into a laugher. She established firm control by the opening quarter, opened up a huge edge nearing the half-mile pole, and ultimately cruised under the wire by 13 lengths. She paced the mile in an impressive 1:54 for owner George Green, trainer Julie Miller and driver Tyler Miller.
The first leg of the series for colts and geldings featured a full field of eight. Captain Fancy, bet down to even-money favouritism, got the job done for trainer Bill MacKenzie and driver Dan Dubé. Dubé rated him in third during the opening half mile, then pulled first-over as they rounded the third turn. He established firm control as they neared the three-quarter pole, and pulled clear to win by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:54.2.
The winner is owned by Vincent Ali Jr., Alma Iafelice and Theodore Gewertz. He has now won six times from 17 starts and earnings of almost $140,000.
Freehold Raceway's leading driver, Austin Siegelman, got off to a slow start at the summer-fall meet. He didn't win a race on opening weekend, but bounced back in a big way on Saturday with six winners on the 13-race card.
Siegelman's first win of the day came in race three, when he guided Ultimate Flyer N to victory for trainer Mark Infante. He got back-to-back wins in race four, as Van Diesel rallied up the inside to win for trainer Salvatore Sciarrino. Siegelman completed the hat trick in race eight, as Bilbo Hanover scored for trainer Mike Watson.
In race nine, he got the grand slam, guiding Pro Beach to victory for trainer Ron Burke. He got win number five in the 12th race, as Gaius Crastinus prevailed for owner-trainer John Novello. In the finale, Siegelman had his one shot left to get six wins, and he took full advantage, moving Frankie Boy first-over and drawing off to victory for owner-trainer Brandon Mongiello.
Through the first four days of the summer-fall season, Siegelman has seven winners from 37 drives, placing him in a tie with Dubé atop the driver standings. In 2021, Siegelman has 109 winners at Freehold, giving him a commanding lead in the overall standings.
Live racing resumes at Freehold on Friday (Sept. 10), starting at about 12:30 p.m.