Huntsville edges Downbytheseaside in Meadowlands Pace
Huntsville held on by a head, gaining a 4-3 advantage in their eight showdowns. The only time neither got the victory was last month in the North America Cup — won by Fear The Dragon — where Huntsville was second and Downbytheseashore third.
Fear The Dragon was not nominated to The Pace, leaving Huntsville and Downbytheseaside to battle it out.
And battle they did.
Huntsville got away fourth in the early stages before charging past Blood Line to grab the lead down the backstretch. The 1-5 favorite appeared comfortably in charge on the final turn as Downbytheseaside tipped outside for a long, grinding challenge.
Huntsville flashed past the three-quarter pole in 1:20.3 and the torrid pace started taking a toll. In a display of guts and determination, Huntsville dug deep while Downbytheseaside relentlessly ate into his lead. The finish line arrived just in time for last season’s 2-year-old Dan Patch Award champion to earn his first major win of this campaign.
It was the fifth Pace victory for driver Tim Tetrick, trailing only the recently retired Hall of Famer John Campbell, who had seven wins in the Meadowlands Racetrack’s signature event for 3-year-olds.
Trainer Ray Schnittker improved his Pace record to 2-for-2. He combined with Tetrick to win in 2010 with One More Laugh.
Huntsville continued his remarkable consistency with a 12th win in 18 lifetime starts. He has never finished worse than second.
“My horse was tired late,” Tetrick said. “He kept pushing all the way to the wire.”
The time for the mile was a lifetime best 1:47.4 for the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show, who earned $369,275 for the ownership team of Schnittker, Ted Gewertz and Steven Arnold.
Huntsville paid $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10. Downbytheseaside returned $2.80 and $2.40 as the 4-1 second choice. Classic Pro paid $6 to show.
–by Mike Farrell, for Meadowlands Racetrack
Marion Marauder wins Hambletonian Maturity
It was a big-time performance by the defending Trotter of the Year and Triple Crown champion.
Driven by Scott Zeron, 1-5 favorite Marion Marauder chased down Cufflink Hanover by a head in 2:05.2 for the 1-1/8 mile distance to capture the $458,750 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters at the Meadowlands Saturday night (July 15), and in doing so, became the first horse in the fourth edition of the series to complete the Hambletonian-Hambletonian Maturity sweep.
Zeron waited for his moment to go first over just after the three-quarter mile mark and powered his way to the finish line, outlasting Cufflink Hanover. Warrawee Roo finished third with Dayson fourth.
“He’s a grinder, I’m not worried about him getting weak at the end, that’s for sure,” said Zeron. “The way it unfolds, a mile and an eighth, a lot of people can do different things out there. Right now, he’s at the best part of his game. It’s hard to believe after the year he had last year. I don’t mind coming first up, he loves looking at them, just going right on by them. This year, he’s matured to pull away. (His desire to race) is even more as a 4-year-old. It makes my life so much easier.”
Marion Marauder paid $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10. Cufflink Hanover, with Corey Callahan driving, paid $7.40 and $4.60 to place with Warrawee Roo (Daniel Dube) paying $3.60 to show.
It was the son of Muscle Hill’s third win in four starts this season. He’s won 14 of 32 lifetime and has earned over $2 million for owners Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling.
Last year, Marion Marauder swept the Triple Crown – the Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot and Kentucky Futurity – on his way to being named Trotter of the Year.
by Lou Monaco, for The Hambletonian Society
Mach It So game in Haughton Memorial
Mach It So, with David Miller driving, held off a persistent Boston Red Rocks and Brett Miller in the final eighth of a mile to win the $427,400 William Haughton Memorial for open pacers by a neck at The Meadowlands on Saturday night (July 15) in a time of 2:00.4 for the 1-1/8 mile distance.
Mach It So was off the early pace, set by Bettor’s Edge and Scott Zeron through a snappy :25.4 first quarter, with Rock N’ Roll World and Brian Sears in behind him. Mach It So was moving up from fourth just past the quarter and had the lead by the half in :54.1.
Boston Red Rocks was on the outside to challenge past the half and kept up the pressure and drew nearly even at three-quarters, which was timed in 1:20.4. Those two were the sole contenders down the stretch with Mach It So hitting the mile in 1:47.1 with a slight lead and Boston Red Rocks still pressing hard on the outside to the wire.
“With the extra eighth of a mile, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen,” said winning driver Miller. “When the gate folded, it looked like there were about 10 of them (in a 12-horse field) leaving. By the time we got to the first turn, it had settled down and I was sitting fourth.
“We were actually going a pretty moderate pace, so I went ahead and moved him to see what would happen. The horse first up just kind of rode there and we got our own way. He fought really hard through the stretch. I think Boston Red Rocks got up on him, but this horse fought back and put his head in front. That (1:47.1) is a big mile for him. He was still pacing hard at the wire. I give the horse a lot of credit. He’s a quality horse. He’s been around for a long time and he’s won this race before.”
Mach It So returned $34.60 to win. Bettor’s Edge (Scott Zeron) was third.
Mach It So is trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr. and owned by Bamond Racing LLC
by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications