Pizzelle shuts down division foes in Goldsmith Maid

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Ten top 2-year-old filly trotters crowded the two-turn battle of the $428,000 Goldsmith Maid on Saturday night (Nov. 25) at the Meadowlands, with Pizzelle delivering a mild upset. Andrew McCarthy drove the daughter of Walner to victory in 1:54.

Pizzelle did not get a call most of the race, racing toward the back of the pack while Sambuca Hanover (David Miller) revved to the early lead over co-favorite R Melina (Dexter Dunn). Also in the forefront were French Champagne and co-favorite Soiree Hanover (Tim Tetrick) followed by Honey Sweet and Glamorous Hanover. The field trotted unhurried through a soft first quarter of :28 before R Melina opened the second panel with a rush to the top over Sambuca Hanover. The top three remained in those spots hitting the half in :57.2.

Sitting in third, Tetrick held tight as Sambuca Hanover took three gallops approaching three-quarters and was able to get her back on stride by three-quarters in 1:25.2. Sambuca Hanover’s recovery created a duel with her co-favorite as inside trotters stalled. Down the stretch, however, the farthest path to the wire proved to be the fastest lane as McCarthy flew freely with Pizzelle to pass the dueling duo and hit the wire in 1:54, winning by 1-1/4 lengths.

Sambuca Hanover, at 12-1, survived an inquiry for the missteps and held for second. R Melina captured the show spot.

“She’s been good all year,” McCarthy said when asked how he felt approaching the stretch while second to last in the big field. “I was going to try to catch cover because the middle half was good and I still wasn’t sure at the head of the stretch.”

“She was sick for a bit and took a few weeks off,” said Noel Daley, who trains Pizzelle for Christopher Beaver and Donald Robinson. “We didn’t do anything with her.”

Was he worried she was second to last into the stretch?

“I saw we were in a bit of trouble there, but I know she can sprint,” as she did when it counted most.

It was Pizzelle’s third victory in 13 starts at 2. She raised her earnings to $315,850, and she paid $14.40 to win.