Saturday, March 16, 2024

Is Mariner Seelster the inspiration for the phrase: “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better”.

Probably not. But it certainly fits.

The remarkable war horse won again Friday night at The Meadowlands, upping his win streak to four in a Meadowlands Amateur Driving Club 2 event on the pace.

The 15-year-old gelded son of Camluck-M T Freedom, permitted to race only because horses beyond the age of 14 are eligible to perform in fair or amateur dashes in New Jersey, was roughed up four-wide into the first turn, finally made the top while parked at the half in a sizzling :54.3, then drew clear of his foes at the head of the stretch before going on to a sparkling 1:52.3 score.

“He’s as sound and happy as he’s ever been,” said winning trainer Travis Alexander of ‘Mariner’, who made the 440th start of his career. “You can see his ears up during the mile and we couldn’t be more amazed by him than we are. He loves his job, that’s for sure.”

Mariner Seelster now has 74 lifetime wins, good for a bankroll of just under $1.02 million for owners Fiddler’s Creek Stables, Alexander Racing Stable, D’Elegance Stable and T L P Stable. He paid $4.20 as the even-money favorite despite leaving from post nine in the nine-horse field. Throwing Copper finished 3½ lengths behind the winner in second with Yayas Hot Spot N third.

“What can I say?” said winning driver Tony Beltrami. “He’s an absolute beast. He is a true professional that loves to race and to win and is as strong and sound as most horses half his age. I’m truly grateful to the owners, and to Travis Alexander and his team, for the opportunity to drive him.”

CARRY ON: The 20-cent Pick-8 went unhit for a fifth consecutive program, setting up a carryover of $9,507 for Saturday. Those with five correct on their tickets cashed in for $49.54.

One shrewd handicapper hit big in the 20-cent Pick-6. After 2-1 chance Oh Coffee Bean won the 13th race, one winning ticket was worth $29,854.72.

Free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available by going to playmeadowlands.com.

PURPLE POWER: Leading driver Dave Miller gave his fans some serious returns after guiding the winners of the last three races on the card. Miss Chantilly N ($29.40 to win), Oh Coffee Bean ($6.80) and the previously winless Ferragamo Hanover ($26.60) scored in the 12th, 13th and 14th dashes, respectively, which gave Miller’s followers the Late Double ($96.60) and Pick-3 ($1,045.60).

A LITTLE MORE: Troy Beyer and Todd McCarthy each had a driving double. … After last Saturday’s parimutuel betting platform problems stopped The Big M’s streak of 12 straight $3-million handles, betting got back on the beam Friday as $3,265,089 was put in play on the 14-race card. … Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m.

PHOTO: Mariner Seelster wins the eighth race at The Meadowlands Friday night, a Meadowlands Amateur Driving Club 2 event, with Tony Beltrami at the controls. (Credit: Lisa Photo)