Sunday, June 11, 2023

There is no horse hotter at The Meadowlands these days than Raptors Flight N, and the 10-year-old gelded son of Bettor’s Delight-Circus Flyer delivered a fifth consecutive victory to his faithful Saturday night in leg one of the Play Meadowlands Series for $20,000-$25,000 claimers on the pace.

“He’s been doing really well,” said winning trainer Besim Odza. “Like most horses having to race week in and week out, it takes a bit out of them, of course, but this seems to be a good spot for him where he’s most confident.”

Thanos and I’m Burlington N duked it out past the quarter in :27.1 and the half in :54.1 as Raptors Flight N sat right behind the dueling leaders in the best seat in the house. Vacating the rail just before the five-eighths, ‘Raptor’ then sailed past the tiring twosome under a full head of steam, opened up a 2-length edge at the top of the stretch before going on to an easy 2-length win in 1:51.3. Good Rockin, the 2-1 second choice, rolled home from far back to grab second with I’m Burlington N holding third.

Raptors Flight N has been killing it since beginning his win streak on May 12, but his first four victories came with Todd McCarthy driving. With McCarthy away at Woodbine Mohawk Park driving in North America Cup eliminations, Troy Beyer got the call, and he answered it by authoring a perfect steer.

“I think it’s just the right class for him,” said Beyer. “It fits him like a glove. I was really happy to see them rolling to the half. I knew those two would be really tired. He swelled up once he made the lead.”

As the even-money favorite, Raptors Flight N returned $4.20 to win. He’s now won eight-of-20 starts this year and 34-of-135 lifetime, good for a bank account that now exceeds $300,000.

“He has gate speed, can sit back, come first-up, he’s usually not a sweat,” said Odza. “As long as he behaves himself, which is a problem of his, I’m pretty confident every time he goes to the gate.”

LITTLE MEANS A LOT: It was a big night for Dave Little, as the veteran member of the Big M TV team selected eight winners on top on the 13-race card.

Little also won Night 4 of the track’s Battle of the Masterminds handicapping contest, as his best bet Better Than Some scored to give Little a final bankroll on the night of $900. He also tabbed the Late Pick-4, which he had four times for a total hit of $587.40, and also hit “Little’s Late Double” for $184.50 after having the DD seven-and-a-half times.

For the two bets, his profits totaled $703.90.

A LITTLE MORE: After a driving double Friday, Corey Callahan locked up Driver of the Week honors by making four more trips to the winner’s circle on Saturday. … Vic Kirby made his trip up from Delaware a profitable one, guiding three to victory lane. … All-source wagering totaled $2,360,600. … Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m.

PHOTO: Raptors Flight N does it again, as the Besim Odza trainee recorded his fifth straight win at The Meadowlands Saturday night. (Credit: Lisa Photo)