Saturday, July 15, 2023

Oh Well, driven by Tim Tetrick, took immediate control over the field and made his foes chase him the entire mile to win the first of two $138,500 divisions of the Stanley Dancer Memorial on Saturday night (July 15) at The Meadowlands by two lengths.

The Marcus Melander-trained son of Hambletonian champ Muscle Hill left quickly along with Gaines Hanover, Kierkegaard K and favorite Air Power, but Tetrick made it to the top with Oh Well leading the field to a :27.3 first quarter.

In firm command, Oh Well trotted easily to a :56.3 half as Gaines Hanover galloped off to the side and left the scene. The remaining trotters rolled on behind Oh Well as he clocked three-quarters in 1:24.1, where Kierkegaard K left the catbird seat to set up a duel with the leader while favorite Air Power took cover second over.

Off the final turn and into the stretch, Oh Well kept Kierkegaard K from threatening. Then, Air Power galloped while attempting a closing charge. Kierkegaard K held on for second while French Wine was clear to take third and Father Stosh rambled home fourth.

The time for the mile was 1:51.2, a personal best for Oh Well. SRF Stable owns the winning trotter. Oh Well, now with a bankroll of $890,585. He paid $9.20 to win.

“I was super happy,” said Tetrick, “he was getting beat every time at the wire and he raced good enough to win every time. We’ve been playing with the open bridle all year to get him in shape. We put the blind bridle on tonight and he really responded. He’s a great, big, lazy colt that doesn’t pay attention all the time, but when he gets his mind on business he knows what’s going on.”

Trainer Marcus Melander said he kept an open bridle on so far this year, “and today was the time to put a closed one on like every start he had last year. It’s a long season and we don’t want to pull all the plugs right away. We’ve been managing him to have him on top Hambo day. So far, he looks good.”

Winner’s Bet paid off in a three-colt finish of the second $138,500 division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial to win with driver Dexter Dunn in 1:51, a career best.

Winner’s Bet settled in line early as favorite Tactical Approach charged to the front followed by Kilmister. The first quarter went in :27.3 with Winner’s Bet third and Excalibur Bi fourth. Tactical Approach rolled through a :56.2 half, and the top trio kept their positions routing to three-quarters in 1:24.1.

Scott Zeron kept Tactical Approach strongly trotting on the lead into the stretch until Kilmister dug in to close quickly on him. As those two looked to meet the wire together, Winner’s Bet came charging on the far outside making up the most ground. Dexter Dunn’s charge had plenty left to pass the two and win in 1:51 by a half length. Kilmister held for second and Tactical Approach was third.

“He’s come back really well,” Dunn said. “Domenico [Cecere] and the team have done a great job bringing him back. He’s super relaxed this year; he’s trotting great and he’s filled out. He had a good draw tonight and we got a good trip. I was really impressed with his turn of foot.”

Domenico Cecere trains the Walner colt paying $13.40 to win for owners Lindy Farms Of Connecticut and Robert A. Rudolph. Winner’s Bet increased his bankroll to $427,618 with the victory.