Saturday, December 31, 2022

One of the hottest trotters in training took another stroll down victory lane Friday night, as Lexus Kody went a huge mile on the way to taking the $23,000 feature at The Meadowlands.

“I thought he had a great chance in there,” said winning driver Yannick Gingras. “He was tremendous at Yonkers last week.”

After breaking stride before the quarter at Yonkers on Dec. 22, the Ron Burke trainee circled up three-wide at the half before storming home a convincing 2¾-length winner as the 3-5 favorite. On Friday, he went another tough trip, yet still managed to win with relative ease.

The 4-year-old gelded son of Archangel-Lexus Helios didn’t break this time around in the TrackMaster 89 for trotters, but from post eight in the nine-horse field was tested early and had to race on the outside until clearing the top just before the half, which was timed in :55.2, after turn one leader Kenziesky Hanover yielded to Rich And Miserable just after the quarter.

“It took a while to get there,” said Gingras. “But this horse is sharp.”

Delayed Hanover became a player at the three-quarter-mile marker, racing uncovered while applying pressure to the leader, but at the head of the stretch, Lexus Kody had a 1-length edge and maintained the front to the wire, recording a three-quarter-length score in 1:52.1 over Delayed Hanover with Kenziesky Hanover third.

“Delayed Hanover is a nice horse,” said Gingras. “But once we hit the stretch, he wasn’t gaining any more. In the final eighth, I thought my horse would get the job done.”

After starting the year winless in seven starts, Lexus Kody has won six-of-seven since, and now has 10 victories (with 24 on-the-board finishes) from 27 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $244,097.

As the 4-5 favorite, he returned $3.80 to win.

A LITTLE MORE: George Brennan had the hot hand, leading the driver colony with four winners. … Gingras, Tyler Buter and Steve Smith all had driving doubles. … Burke sent two to the winner’s circle. … There were no winning tickets sold in the 20-cent Pick-6, creating a carryover of $4,834 for Saturday’s card. Those with five correct collected $134.74. … All-source handle totaled $2,845,816. … Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m.

PHOTO: Lexus Kody and driver Yannick Gingras take the Friday night feature at The Meadowlands. (Credit: Lisa Photo)