Saturday, March 19, 2022

Even though the past performance line was less than spectacular, driver Joe Bongiorno liked the effort by Tenthousand Angels last week when she was fifth in the last preliminary leg of the TrackMaster Series for fillies and mares on the pace.

And Friday night at The Meadowlands, Bongiorno’s confidence in his horse was on display, as Tenthousand Angels closed like a shot through the stretch to take the series final, which went for $22,500, in a lifetime-best 1:52.

“She didn’t race well in her last start at Yonkers (when eighth on March 2),” said Bongiono. “But she was really good last week. She had good pace late in the mile.”

The Team Bongiorno (Joe’s sister, Jenn, trains) 5-year-old daughter of Captaintreacherous-Angel Scent was seventh in the early going in the eight-horse field as 2-1 favorite Wakemeshakeme took the field past the quarter in a quick :26.3.

In The Night, in search of her third win in seven tries, then moved to the top and led at the half in :55.2 as the flow started to develop on the rim. With Truth And Liberty and Greenhill Hanover providing a live tow, Tenthousand Angels was third-over before swinging three-wide at three-quarters, where a tiring In The Night led in 1:24.2.

Tenthousand Angels took care of things from there, exploding home while racing in the six lane to sail by the field on the way to a neck win over a resilient Wakemeshakeme, who had good pace along the rail nearing the wire. Greenhill Hanover was third.

“I was sitting second to last the whole mile,” said Bongiorno. “I came third-over, and she was as good, if not better, than she was in her last start. She does have a lot of gate speed, but I’m now thinking she’s better from the back. Racing at The Meadowlands fits that style better.”

Tenthousand Angels paid $7.00 to win as the 5-2 second choice and recorded her fifth career victory from 68 starts. She is owned by JB Racing and Barbara Bongiorno and now has earnings of $122,982.

FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME: Driver Will Clark Jr. had last driven in September of 2005 at the defunct Rockingham Park but showed no signs of rust as he guided Sunshine’s Finest to an off-the-pace win in one of three GSY Amateur Driving Club pacing events. The time of 1:51.3 was a lifetime best for the Tom Shay trainee, who returned $14.80 to win.

The win was the 29th lifetime for the 58-year-old Clark, and first ever at The Big M.

“It’s unbelievable, a dream come true,” said Clark. “I was trying super-hard to win. I just lost my mom and son, so I was going for some divine intervention. And it happened. I’m so thrilled.”

Wagering on the three GSY races totaled just over $678,000, an average per dash of $226,000.

A LITTLE MORE: Yannick Gingras was limited to six drives on the card having also raced in the Matchmaker Series at Yonkers, but after guiding Rockabilly Charm ($9.20) to victory lane in the 12th race, the 42-year-old Hall-of-Fame bound pilot kept his streak intact of winning at least once on all 18 Big M cards in 2022. … All-source handle totaled $2,821,737. … Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m.

PHOTO: Tenthousand Angels and driver Joe Bongiorno take the TrackMaster Series Final at The Meadowlands Friday night. (Credit: Lisa Photo)