Saturday, September 2, 2023

Newsroom continued his winning ways at The Meadowlands Friday night, as he stayed perfect in four seasonal starts in one of 11 New Jersey Classic eliminations, an event for 2- and 3-year-olds for horses of each sex and gait.

All eight NJC finals will take place next weekend.

Newsroom had to bring his “A” game, but thus far, that’s all the son of Always B Miki-Well Hello There has brought to each of his dances. In the lone elimination for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the pace, driver Dave Miller predictably had Newsroom on the go from post 10 and tucked into the three-hole around the first turn.

“It looked like it should work out that way,” said Miller. “And it did.”

Miller was referring to his moving Newsroom to the point well before the half – which was reached in a leisurely :57 – after taking that early seat. Three-quarters was hit in 1:25.2 and it looked like easy gravy from there.

But it wasn’t.

Wish You Well, who sat a three-hole trip most of the way, angled off the rail at the head of the stretch and was gaining quickly on the eventual winner in deep stretch, only to come up a neck short in a mile that went in 1:51.4.

“I might have had him a little too relaxed off the turn. That horse got to him quick,” said Miller. “I started to get after him and he got to chuggin’ again.”

Newsroom, a Joe Holloway trainee, returned $2.20 to win as the 1-9 public choice.

AND THE OTHER WINNERS WERE: There were three divisions for 2-year-old trotting fillies. Emerging victorious were Sunkist Beauty (Six Pack-Orange Bigi) for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt in 1:54.1 as the even-money favorite; Chaparmbro (Chapter Seven-Armbro Déjà vu) for driver Brian Sears and trainer Trond Smedshammer in 1:54.1 as the 5-2 second choice; and Buy A Round (Walner-On Your Tab) for Andy McCarthy and Noel Daley in 1:54.3 as the 3-5 public choice.

The winning two 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters were Oh Well (Muscle Hill-Fine Tuned Lady) for Tim Tetrick and Marcus Melander in 1:52.3 as the 3-5 chalk and Air Power (Muscle Hill-Beyond Blue) for Mattias Melander and Marcus Melander in 1:52 as the 2-1 second choice.

The pair of 2-year-old colt and gelding trots went to Mr Grant (Tactical Landing-Flos Conch Shack) for Sears and D.R. Ackerman in 1:55.3 as the 6-1 second choice and Sig Sauer (Muscle Hill-Sigilwig) for Andy McCarthy and Daley in 1:55.4 as the 1-2 favorite.

Odds On Steno (Bettor’s Wish-Odds On St Lucie) won the first of two 2-year-old filly paces for Andy McCarthy and Tony Alagna in 1:52.3 as the 7-2 third choice while Pulp Fiction (Bettor’s Wish-I’m Trigger Happy) won the second for Todd McCarthy and Michael Hall in 1:53.3 as the 3-5 chalk to stay perfect in four lifetime outings.

Quick Stop (Tactical Landing-Falls For You) won the lone 3-year-old filly trot for Tetrick and Anette Lorentzon in 1:54.3 as the 7-2 third choice.

Saturday night’s card will see the New Jersey Classic elims for 3-year-old filly pacers and 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers.

BIG NIGHT AT THE WINDOWS: All-source wagering fell just short of $3 million as a total of $2,972,343 was put in play on the 13-race card, but when compared to a year ago, the uptick is remarkable.

Betting was up over $1.2 million over the corresponding Friday night in 2022, when the total wager was $1,736,206, meaning that action was up 71 percent.

A LOT OF LITTLE: It was a big night for Dave Little.

The veteran member of The Big M TV team correctly selected his best bet Sig Sauer ($3.00) and value play Odds On Steno ($9.80). In addition, Little had both Pick-4s. On the first, he had a $3 ticket for a total payout of $372.90, and on the second, his $2 ticket returned $110. His total investment of $72 on the two bets returned a profit of $410.90.

In addition, his ice cold “Little’s Late Double” saw a $30 wager cash in for $96.

Fans of Little’s broadcast partner Gabe Prewitt did just fine as well. Prewitt also had both Pick-4s, with his big hit coming in the earlier wager, when his $4 ticket (a $40 investment) returned $497.20.

A LITTLE MORE: Andy McCarthy led the driver colony with four winners. … Svanstedt, Melander, Daley and Alagna all trained a pair to victory lane. … Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m. It will mark the second of four race cards during the September “Mini Meet”, which concludes next week.

PHOTO: Newsroom and driver Dave Miller hold off Wish You Well to take a New Jersey Classic elimination for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the pace Friday night at The Meadowlands. (Credit: Lisa Photo)