Baby Marathon at The Meadowlands

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Breakfast With The Babies sponsored by Jules Siegel’s Fashion Farms, took place on the morning of Saturday, June 24 on a wet fast track after intermittent overnight showers with temperatures in the low 70’s, cloudy skies, the wind negligible. The track variant to begin was –1 but seemed to improve as the day wore on…and on.


When drawn, this seventeen-race card for the 2-year-olds contained 98 horses; 68 were sold at public auction for $10,758,000 an average of $158,200 and 30 are home-breds with pedigrees that would easily demand another $3-5 million.


The stars on the day were many, with driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Taker each scoring five wins, combining to win four of those.


Linda Toscano and Scott Zeron have enjoyed remarkable success already this young stakes season and they combined with a nice pair to win races 15 and 17 today.


Captain Marvel scored first in 1:54.4. Zeron headed the Captaintreacherous colt away from the gate toward the front, rated him evenly then asked for more and got it in the form of a :27.2 final quarter. Total Stranger (Gingras) saved ground all the way and flashed late foot to get up the inside for second. 3 Brothers Stable and Caviart Farms own Captain Marvel, a Hanover bred $85,000 Harrisburg yearling.


The Stay Hungry filly Sarasota Hanover impressed again today in the 17th race. After one good schooler on her home turf at Magical Acres, Linda brought Sarasota Hanover to The Meadowlands and she took the next step beautifully. Zeron put her right on the front as well, comparable fractions ensued, but she jetted home powerfully in 26.3 with plenty left to win over Caviart Sophie (A. McCarthy). Jablonsky Held, Toscano as Camelot Stable, John Fodera and Daniel Baer and Scott Rothbort as South Mountain Stable share ownership of the $210,000 (HBG) Hanover bred lass.   


The Walner filly Spy Coast won the opener in 1:59.3 for trainer/driver Jeff Gregory who owns her in partnership with WH Richardson and Spy Coast Stable. Spy Coast followed in close attendance as Electric Jane (Scott Zeron) set easy fractions and responded well when asked to wear down that filly through a :27.3 final quarter. The winner was a $90,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale (LEX) purchase from breeders Atlantic Trot and Steve Stewart.


Cheval Rapide (Yannick Gingras) certainly looked the part this morning as she cut deliberate fractions under a hold, scrambled a bit when asked as a challenge from pocket sitter EL Marilyn (Ake Svanstedt) materialized then took off as that rival broke and posted a 27.4 end to a 1:58.2 mile. Distance (Tim Tetrick) inherited second and Harley Quinn, sister to Hambletonian winner Ramona Hill, was a boldly closing third for Andy McCarthy. The winner is a Father Patrick homebred for Solveig’s Racing Partners from the great mare Shake It Cerry and is in her image.


The Chapter Seven filly Star Attraction was a winner for the Svanstedt barn, converting a nice pocket ride behind Du Maurier (A. McCarthy) through even fractions, winning the stretch-long battle with that rival through a 28.2 end to the 1:59 mile. The winner is a Marvin Katz & Al Libfeld homebred.


Dozen (Zeron) was another pocket rocket as she settled in nicely behind stablemate Banksy Cheetah (Sears) as that one set a moderate pace, then responded willingly when asked win in 1:59.2, home in 28.3. Marcus Melander trains the top two. Dozen is a Chapter Seven homebred racing for Adam and Chris Bowden as Diamond Creek Racing.


Jeff Snyder plays at the top level and he, along with partners Arthur and Margaret Pronti as Onda Racing Stable, plunked down a cool $600,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sales (SHS) to get the Chapter Seven filly Date Night Hanover and she looked like a good filly should, winning for Brian Sears in 1:57.4 this morning. Sears sent Date Night away from post four and led around the first turn until Yannick Gingras took over with St Germain. They remained in that order through a minute half and 1:29.3 three-quarters as Sears sat cooly with his filly until the time was right, when asked she eased by the leader through a :27.4 final panel. Hanover Shoe Farms bred and sold the winner.


Tim Tetrick waited patiently in the back of the bus through the 1:31 three quarters before fanning Soiree Hanover wide in the stretch and she responded brilliantly, sweeping by the field with an individually timed :26.2 final quarter to win in 1:58.2 over Internationalmodel (Zeron) and Tandem Hanover (A. McCarthy). Lucas Wallin trains the Walner filly for Snogarps Gard, who gave $110,000 (SHS) for the Hanover bred.


Trainer Tony Alagna sent out his first 2-year-old winner of the season in Winter Soldier (A. McCarthy), a Face Time Bourbon colt he trains for his brother Pete and Robbie Pryde’s Pryde Stable. McCarthy sat in behind solid fractions posted by Disco Wiz (Jordan Stratton), tipped from behind that rivel in the stretch to take over then lasted over Diplomacy who was flying late for Scott Zeron in 1:57.4 / :28 Winter Soldier was bred by Rustic Acres Farm and sold for $140,000 in Lexington.


Alagna came right back with Mars Hill (Todd McCarthy) who enjoyed a nice trip in the two hole through honest fractions and was more than ready to go when McCarthy showed him some racetrack, passing the leader and holding sway on his own through a 27.4 end to the 1:57.3 win over Southwind Metric (Svanstedt). Tony trains the Muscle Hill colt for Richard Arnold’s Willow Oak Ranch, also the breeder.


Lammtarra (Mattias Melander) was an imposing presence today, taking over before the 1:01.3 half then widening as he pleased through a 29 second third panel before charging home in :28 flat for the 1:58.3 win as Bryant Bros S (Svanstedt) gained willingly up the inside to nab second. The winner is a son of first crop sire Greenshoe, a $500,000 (LEX) purchased by Anders Strom who campaigned the sire as Courant, Inc. and was bred by M. Biasuzzi.


My Way and Mattias Melander had it their way this morning, going gate to wire impressively in 1:56.3. The Muscle Hill colt zoomed to the quarter in a fast 28.1 then settled nicely for a minute middle half before ending the mile with a 27.4 final panel. Duke Of Walner was settled mid pack by Tim Tetrick through the early going and was absolutely air borne the final sixteenth after finding room late in the stretch to be second. The winner is a Muscle Hill brother to the good Oh Well, trained in the Melander barn for owners Eric & Lisa Cherry’s Let It Ride Stables, John Fielding and the Melander family’s Holly Lane Stud. He was a $135,000 Harrisburg buy from breeder Order By Stable.


Things sped up notably when the day’s first pacers took the track in race 11 and Flawless (Gingras) won her second, this time from a perfect trip in 1:55.1, home in :26.2. Gifted One (A. McCarthy) set all the fractions, fought off a serious rush by Sea Pearl (Zeron) then succumbed to the winner late in a very game effort. Nancy Takter trains the winner, a Marvin Katz & Sam Goldband homebred daughter of Captaintreacherous.


Gingras and Takter came right back with the Captaintreacherous colt Ivy Park. Driven perfectly by Yannick, the pair stalked the slow pace of 1:01.4 and 1:30 before blowing by leader and eventual place finisher Vicious Blue Chip (Mitchell Cushing) and widening through the stretch in a 26.2 end to the 1:56.3 mile. Ivy Park is owned by the trainer in partnership with Barry Guariglia’s Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Joe Sbrocco and was a $90,000 (LEX) but from breeders Marvin & Lynn Katz and Sam Goldband.


The cleverly named Heston Blue Chip colt Hugh Heston showed some chops today. Uncovered, he determinedly gained significant ground on Hungry To Win, who had sprinted off to a lead of several lengths by the 1:26.2 third marker and wearing that rival down through the 27.4 end to the 1:54.1 win, giving Gingras his third straight winner. Bold Spirit (Zeron) closed nicely inside for second. The winner hails from the Per Engblom stable, is owned by Morrison Racing Stables and was bred by Best Bet Stables,


Booming Economy (Dexter Dunn) made some noise when he roared by the field down the stretch through a sub :27 final quarter to win his second consecutive test in 1:53.4 with plenty in reserve. Ray Schnittker sent an honest pace with his Man Ray, taking the colts by the three quarters in 1:26.4 then giving was as first Crush Kill Destroy ranged up as Yannick sought his fourth straight, but he was no match for the winner’s brush. Another from the Nancy Takter stable, Booming Economy went through the Lexington sale for $180,000, but remains registered to his breeders, Chuck Pompey, Howard Taylor and Ed Gold.


Caviart Belle made it five each for driver Gingras and trainer Takter when she stormed by her rivals in a 26.1 final quarter and held Watching You (Zeron) and Bree Hanover (T. McCarthy) at bay to get a 1:54.2 record in her very first start. Those fillies were doing some serious pacing down by the wire. Caviart Farms owns the winner and they paid $375,000 (LEX) to buy her from the Hanover consignment.


A couple of Hambletonian hopefuls qualified after the Baby races.


Excalibur Bi (Zeron) was sharp in 1:54.4 home in :27.2 in a field that scratched down to just two, he had no company for the ride.


Three more, Celebrity Bambino (Gingras), Dire Straits (Mattias Melander) and current top pick on Ken Warkentin’s Road to the Hambletonian, Volume Eight (Andy McCarthy) finished in a line across the wire in 1:54.3 in the next race.


In a pacing qualifier, Lochinvar Art A and Lauren came over for a tightener toward the upcoming Dave Brower Memorial next Saturday and they hooked a bearcat in Captain Batboy, a 3-year-old from Tom Fanning’s barn who went to the front fast and then sped up; pacing in 1:49.4, home in 25.4 for Jordan Stratton. He is not Meadowlands Pace eligible, so that can’t be the reason for the good airing out.


Live racing resumes in about 5 hours with the last of three Graduate legs in advance of the $250,00 July 8 finals and Leg 3 of the Miss Versatility heading up the presentation. Get you live programs here.