Sunday, July 23, 2023

It was 14 days ago when Ari Ferrari J took the $350,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial to mark himself as a player in his division, and Saturday night at The Meadowlands, the Tony Alagna trainee won again, taking one of two divisions of the Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters, with his split going for a purse of $44,250.

While it’s true the son of Walner-Dream Child is Hambletonian ineligible, Alagna is still looking ahead to the rest of the year in a big way.

“Tonight was a start to get him ready for the Kentucky Sire Stakes,” said Alagna. “We’re looking forward to seeing how he matches up against the best in Kentucky and are hoping for a big season.”

Ari Ferrari J clicked in wire-to-wire fashion as the 1-9 favorite by 1¼ lengths over Saint Louie, and after establishing his lifetime-best of 1:51 in the Zweig, he went out and equaled it in the T-G. He’s now won four-of-10 starts this year and banked $272,611.

“He’s always been a nice horse,” said winning driver Dexter Dunn. “He did a lot of learning last year and has come back well. He felt great tonight and was really strong to the finish. I didn’t have to get after him at all.”

Hambo hopeful Point Of Perfect (Walner-Southwind Fiat) took the other split for males, this one for a pot of $43,750, hitting the wire in 1:52.2 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke to score for the second time in his last three starts. Pretty good, when you consider the 7-2 third choice began his career winless in 18 tries. Khaosan Road finished 1½ lengths back in second.

“He’s a talented horse that finally has started to figure it out,” said Burke.

Railee Something looks like a Hambo Oaks player after making it five wins from seven seasonal tries after taking the first of two $41,650 divisions of the T-G for 3-year-old trotting fillies for Gingras and Burke, prevailing over a stubborn Angelpedia by a neck in 1:52 as the 1-5 public choice. Each of the two defeats that the daughter of International Moni-Railee Priti has endured were at the hands of the Ake Svanstedt standout Bond.

Blonde Bombshell, another with Oaks aspirations, took the lead at the half and held off a late charge from 1-2 favorite Walner Payton to take the other female split -by a neck in 1:53.2 for Dave Miller and Nifty Norman. The daughter of Walner-Hey Blondie, sent to the gate as the 8-5 second choice, ended a seven-race losing streak.

“She finally got her stakes win,” said Miller. “I was happy with the way she raced. She dug in really hard.”

A LITTLE MORE: A carryover of $6,275 led to $44,082 in “new money” being bet into the 20-cent Pick-6 pool for a grand total of $50,357. Those with winning tickets collected $151.78 after a sequence that included a 1-9 and a 1-5 shot. … There were no winning tickets sold in the Early 10-cent High-5, creating a carryover of $14,932 for Friday night. … Jessica Otten took Night 16 of the track’s “Battle of The Meadowlands Masterminds” handicapping contest. Otten hit for $750 after Billy Clyde ($8.40) scored in the ninth race to give her a total of $962.50 for the night. In addition, Otten selected eight winners on top and gave her followers a $400 hit in the Early Pick-4. … All-source handle on the 14-race card totaled $3,258,696. … Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m.

PHOTO: Ari Ferrari J and driver Dexter Dunn win a division of the Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters Saturday night at The Meadowlands. (Credit: Lisa Photo)