Saturday, November 11, 2023

Jody is a 5-year-old mare who earlier this year was facing open handicap-caliber horses at Dover Downs and Yonkers Raceway who slumped a bit at the start of the fall.

Recently, the Ron Burke trainee has been getting her act back together, with a victory at the non-winners of $5,000 level on Nov. 3, before following that up with a second straight score Friday night at The Meadowlands in the featured non-winners of $12,500 fillies and mares pace.

“She loves The Big M,” said Burke, whose pupil has four wins this year, all coming at The Meadowlands. “She’s now fresh and ready to roll.”

Tony’s Mom was on the lead while parked through an opening fraction of :27.3 before yielding the point to 8-5 favorite Century Jamila, who led at the half in :55.4. Tony’s Mom came back for more, challenging the leader to three-quarters (1:24.2), permitting Jody to work out an ideal pocket trip as Century Jamila refused to yield to Tony’s Mom.

In mid-stretch, Corey Callahan steered Jody out of the pocket, and the duo went past a determined Century Jamila by a length at the finish in 1:51.3. Tony’s Mom finished third.

Jody (Betterthancheddar-Topgun Lady) now has 17 victories from 71 lifetime starts and earnings of just under $330,000 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi. She returned $11.40 to win as the 9-2 third choice in the betting.

FIRST TIMERS: Heading into Friday’s races, 34-year-old Ridge Warren had recorded 1,381 driving wins in his career, but in the 12th race Warren did something he’d never done before: win at The Meadowlands after guiding 19-1 chance Starlit Rambo to victory lane for trainer Darren Cassar.

Not to be outdone, Bradley Chisholm, 26, guided his first-ever Big M winner piloting 31-1 shot Abel De Vie to the winner’s circle in the 13th for Michael Calderone. Chisholm had but five career wins overall coming into the night, in this, his first year as a driver.

With those two longshots on the back end of the Late 50-cent Pick-4, the return was a hefty $7,486.85.

CARRYOVER CLUSTER: There were no winning tickets sold on the 20-cent Pick-8 or 20-cent Pick-6, creating carryovers for the next racing program.

The P8 has a carryover of $1,161 after those with six winners cashed in for $32.26. The P6 will start out with $4,374 in the hat after those with five correct received $69.34.

A LITTLE MORE: Tim Tetrick and Callahan led the driver colony with a pair of winners apiece while Burke and Jeff Cullipher paced the conditioners with two training wins each. … All-source handle totaled $2,346,029 on the 14-race card. … Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m.

PHOTO: Jody and driver Corey Callahan win the Friday night feature at The Meadowlands. (Credit: Lisa Photo)