Now Hear This! Undefeated Newsroom wins NJ Classic colt pace

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Val D’Or Farms’ Newsroom made yet another headline in the $150,000 New Jersey Classic final for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings, coasting to a 1:49.4 lifetime best win — his fifth in as many starts to date — on Friday (Sept. 8) at The Meadowlands.

Usual driver David Miller floated Newsroom forward from post five and kept him in the two-path through the first turn while outside rivals Wish You Well (driven by Brian Sears) and Caviart Justice (Dexter Dunn) circled to the fore to control a :27 first quarter. Miller refused a four-hole tuck with the Always B Miki-Well Hello There colt and instead hit the accelerator upon reaching the backstretch, but they had to work to clear Wish You Well at the end of a :54 half.

“He got stretched pretty good there,” said Miller, “and he still felt good around the last turn.”

With five-sixteenths to go, Miller gave Newsroom a couple taps of the whip, and they began to edge clear of Wish You Well at three-quarters in 1:22.1. Newsroom asserted more earnestly in the final eighth and was driven clear to a 5-3/4-length win. Wish You Well was a no-match second; Caviart Justice narrowly protected third from Avellino (Andy McCarthy), who emerged belatedly out of traffic.

“I asked him through the stretch, and he went on,” Miller continued. “I never pulled his plugs, but I was on him. I think if a horse was at him, he’d have gone a little more.”

After reeling off all his wins at The Big M, can the Joe Holloway trainee make the jump to the Grand Circuit?

“I think he can,” Miller said. “He’s gone some big miles here. I think he’s a versatile horse, too. I’m pretty high on him.”

Newsroom, who increased his career bankroll to $115,775, paid $2.20 to win.

Miller, Holloway and Val D’Or Farms also captured the $150,000 Classic final for rookie pacing fillies, partnering with Blue Pacific for a narrow 1:50.3 win over Tarrific.

Making just her second lifetime start, the Sweet Lou-Miss Jones filly sat patiently in midfield off contested early fractions of :27.2 and :55 before circling a breaking Odds On Steno at race’s midpoint to inherit fifth behind 9-5 favorite Pulp Fiction (Todd McCarthy) entering the far turn. Still six lengths off the lead past three-quarters in 1:22.2, Miller angled Blue Pacific four-wide in upper stretch as Tarrific (Dexter Dunn) pulled the pocket to engulf Pulp Fiction at the eighth pole. Tarrific’s push to the fore was just outdone by Blue Pacific, who surged down the grandstand side to nab Tarrific by a neck. Miraculous Deo (Brian Sears) emerged to take third.

Following a pair of winning qualifiers at Gaitway Farm in June, Blue Pacific’s early development was briefly derailed, but her 1:50.3 Classic win — which upped her earnings to $73,050 — confirmed Miller’s early assessments of the filly.

“Her first two baby races, I couldn’t say enough good things about her,” Miller said. “Then she got off and missed time, but she’s a real nice filly. I told Joe (Holloway) when we qualified her back that the fillies she was beating in the baby races ended up being nice horses.

Blue Pacific paid $8.60 to win.


Attached (courtesy Lisa Photo):
• Newsroom improved to a perfect five-for-five with a 5-3/4-length score — his most decisive win to date — in the New Jersey Classic for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings.
• Blue Pacific emerges late to track down Tarrific in the New Jersey Classic for rookie pacing fillies.