by Dave Little
Wiggle It Jiggleit got back on track at the Meadowlands Saturday (July 9) night, as one week after finishing third in the Ben Franklin, he shrugged off heavy rain and a sloppy track to record a sensational half length win over rival Freaky Feet Pete in the $250,000 Graduate Series Final for 4-year-old pacers. The winning time of 1:47.2 was a lifetime best for the defending Horse of the Year. Rock N’ Roll World was third.
|Wiggle It Jiggleit glides out of the pocket to down Freaky Feet Pete in world record time.|
“He’s a great horse who likes to do what he does,” said owner George Teague Jr.
One week after finishing third behind Always B Miki (as a 5-year-old, ineligible for the Graduate) and Freaky Feet Pete, Wiggle It Jiggleit was away well from post three. Freaky Feet Pete also left quickly and while parked had the lead at the quarter in :25.3. With Wiggle It Jiggleit right behind him, Pete hit the half in :53.1 and three-quarters in 1:20.4 and appeared to get a bit of separation as they turned for home. But then driver Montrell Teague hit the gas pedal, and once again, Wiggle It Jiggleit, who returned $3.00 to win as the 1-2 favorite, had more than enough fuel left in the tank, edging clear in the final sixteenth to record his 32nd win in 40 lifetime starts for trainer Clyde Francis.
“Great horses do great things,” said Teague.
|Musical Rhythm trotted in 1:51.2 to score in the $250,000 Graduate Series final.|
In the $250,000 Graduate Series Final for 4-year-old trotters, John Campbell gave Musical Rhythm a perfect steer from post ten, and after yielding the top before three-quarters, came back for more in deep stretch to storm home a convincing two-length winner.
“This little guy amazes me all the time,” said winning trainer Benoit Baillargeon. “But you have to be careful with him in the turns.”
Which is exactly how Campbell handled things.
Musical Rhythm left quickly and was parked in second as Crazshana hit the quarter in :27.4. Musical Rhythm took over shortly thereafter, trotting past the half in :55.4. Wings Of Royalty, who got off the rail at the three-eighths and provided live cover for even-money favorite Maestro Blue Chip, ranged up to get the top at three-quarters in 1:23.2 as Campbell handled his charge with care through the far turn. Through the stretch, Maestro Blue Chip did not fire, and nearing the wire, Campbell swung Musical Rhythm out of the pocket and exploded home in the final sixteenth to record the win in 1:51.2, a lifetime best.
Centurion ATM, a 30-1 longshot, finished second, with Crazshana third. Maestro Blue Chip faded to sixth.
“He let the guy go on the turn,” said Baillargeon of Campbell permitting Wings Of Royalty to get the lead. “But then he swelled right up.”
Musical Rhythm returned $12.20 to win as the third betting choice for owners Santo and Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Baillargeon, and has now won 12 of 14 starts this year.
For Campbell, it marked his second consecutive win in the Graduate for trotters. A year ago, he guided JL Cruze to victory lane in 1:49.4, the only sub-1:50 mile on the trot in Meadowlands history.
SUPER CARRYOVER: There was no single-ticket winner in the fifth race 20-cent Jackpot Super High Five, increasing the carryover for the next racing program to $33,508.72.
All-source wagering on the card totaled $2,834,080.
Racing resumes at the Meadowlands Friday (July 15) at 7:15 p.m.
Meadowlands Pace Night is Saturday (July 16) and has an early post time of 6:30 p.m.