Saturday, June 17, 2023

Jiggy Jog S lived up to her resume – as well as the 1-5 odds on the tote board – during an easy score in the $75,000 second leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters at The Meadowlands Friday night.

“She’s been very impressive in her two races this year,” said Sarah Svanstedt, who along with her husband Ake trains Jiggy Jog S. “I’m very happy to see the way she’s racing.”

The 2022 Breeders Crown and Kentucky Filly Futurity winner wasn’t in a terrible hurry early on, as driver Dexter Dunn had her sitting fifth past the quarter and half as Pappardelle and Pretender led at those stations in :27.2 and :54.4, respectively.

At the five-eighths, Jiggy Jog S was in a live flow on the rim racing third-over, getting a live tow from Justice and Keg Stand, who were making up ground on the leader. Pretender was still on the lead at three-quarters in 1:23.2, but looked vulnerable, as Jiggy Jog S swung three-wide off the turn and exploded home in :26.3 to report home a 2¼-length winner in 1:50.3, the same time she took her first start of the season, leg one of the Graduate two weeks ago at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Iwon’t Backdown As and Looks Like Moni rallied late for second and third, respectively.

“She trained back since February and everything has been normal,” said Sarah. “She’s been eating and drinking well, and mentally, she’s also taken a step forward.”

A daughter of Walner-Hot Mess Hanover who is no stranger to beating the boys, Jiggy Jog S returned $2.40 to her backers. She’s now won 12-of-26 career starts and banked $1,202,201 for owner Jorgen Sparredal Inc.

FAST, THEN FASTER: Mad Max Hanover and Stonebridge Helios displayed amazing speed in taking the two $50,000 leg two Graduate splits for 4-year-old pacers, as the fastest Big M mile of the year was first established, then lowered two races later.

First up was Mad Max Hanover (a gelding by Always B Miki-Mayhem Seelster), who was parked while fourth around the first turn from post nine, continued on with it as Pleaseletmeknow scorched the opening fraction in :26.3, made the top at the three-eighths, and went all the way from there, lasting to the wire in an electric 1:47.4. After reaching the half in :53.1, he paced his back half in :54.3 to equal his lifetime best.

“Every time he’s ever been on the lead, he does not get tired,” said winning driver Tim Tetrick of the Jake Leamon trainee. “I just wanted to go forward. He leaves better from the outside. It’s a little better angle. I let him roll because he doesn’t know how fast he’s going. I thought the ones that were following me, if we went really fast, they wouldn’t be able to catch me.”

Mad Max Hanover hit the finish a neck in front of Pleaseletmeknow, who was disqualified for interference through the stretch and placed eighth, as third-place finisher, 3-5 favorite I Did It Myway, was placed second. ‘Max’ paid $15.60 as the 6-1 fourth choice in the wagering.

Just 56 minutes later, another horse from post nine took the other Graduate pacing division, as Stonebridge Helios stopped the clock in 1:47 to record the second-fastest mile of the year in the sport. Only Ruthless Hanover has gone faster by virtue of his 1:46.3 clocking at Harrah’s Philadelphia on May 28.

Stonebridge Helios followed Energetic Hanover (post eight) around the first turn and down the backstretch before making the top while parked at the half in a blistering :53.1 before finally clearing shortly thereafter.

The son of Sunshine Breeze-Ken Doll J then reached three-quarters in 1:20.2 before a powerhouse :26.3 kicker sealed the deal by 1¼ lengths over Dreamfair Arnie B to give Team Svanstedt two Graduates on the night. Stonebridge Helios lowered his previous lifetime best by two-and-one-fifth seconds.

“I was pretty confident (with the way things worked out),” said winning driver Dunn. “I couldn’t be more happy with him. He felt sharp right from the get-go.”

As the 9-2 third choice in the wagering, Stonebridge Helios paid $11.20 to win. He’s now won 11-of-19 lifetime outings and banked $457,105.

A LITTLE MORE: A rare carryover made for a big pool in the Early 10-cent Hi-5, as $59,098 in “new money” was added to the carryover of $15,446 in the seventh race for a grand total of $74,544. The winning combination of 9-4-3-6-7 was good for $414.37 for one thin dime. … In what has been a big year at the windows, betting at The Big M busted the $3-million barrier for the 38th time from 47 completed programs, as $3,023,156 was put in play on the 14-race card. … Edison Hatter’s $300 win bet on Jiggy Jog S proved to be enough to grab a victory on Night 5 of the track’s “Battle of The Meadowlands Masterminds” handicapping contest. … Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m.

PHOTO1: Jiggy Jog S and driver Dexter Dunn take the Graduate for trotters at The Meadowlands Friday night. (Credit: Lisa Photo)