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ONE DOZEN DROP IN FOR MEADOWLANDS PACE (PACE ELIM AND GRADUATE POST DRAWS)

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

With a limited number of 12 horses having dropped into the entry box, there will only be one Meadowlands Pace Elimination necessary on this Saturday (July 11) night’s program at the Big M. Post time is 7:15 p.m.

Two horses – Chief Mate and Allywag Hanover – took byes and will automatically go in the July 18 big-money final for 3-year-old open pacers.

Conditions call for those with the highest earnings this season getting the option to skip the elim. Trainer Mark Harder wanted Major Betts to race, so he’s in this Saturday. As a result, Chief Mate and Allywag Hanover, who were next in line in 2020 earnings, took a free pass to the final.

The elimination has a field of 10, with the first eight in official order of finish advancing to the $631,650 final. The elimination winner will get a major perk: That horse will draw a post position from one through six.

Tall Dark Stranger has drawn post three in the elim. The Nancy Takter trainee’s only start this year resulted in a national season’s-best equaling mile of 1:47.4. The Brett Pelling-schooled Papi Rob Hanover, second in his 2020 debut a week ago after a tough trip from post 10, once again was luckless at the pill drop, having drawn the 10 hole for a second straight start.

The field for Saturday night’s Meadowlands Pace Elimination in post position order, with horse (and driver): Major Betts (D. Dunn), Captain Barbossa (A. McCarthy), Tall Dark Stranger (Y. Gingras), Manticore (J. Stratton), Captain Kirk (D. Dunn), Roll With Jr (T. Tetrick), Mocha On The Rocks (S. Zeron), Catch The Fire (W. Wilder), Capt Midnight (A. McCarthy), Papi Rob Hanover (D. Miller).

Also on Saturday’s program are a pair of $250,000 Graduate Finals. The open events for 4-year-olds – one for pacers and one on the trot – both have full fields of 10.

The trot has double Breeders Crown and New York Sire Stakes champion Gimpanzee as the one with the target on his back. He’s been ultra-impressive in winning both of his starts this year – each of which were Graduate preliminaries – by scoring once on the front end and once from well off the pace.

The field for the Graduate Final for trotters in post position order, with horse (and driver): Chin Chin Hall (D. Dunn), Kings County (D. Miller), Gimpanzee (B. Sears), Winnerup (T. Smedshammer), Explosivebreakaway (T. Tetrick), Southwind Avenger (A. McCarthy), Goes Down Smooth (No Driver), Pure Chance (No Driver), Grand Swan (T. Tetrick), Reign Of Honor (D. Miller).

Bettor’s Wish was the top money-earning horse in harness racing a year ago with over $1.6 million in the bank, and despite drawing post 10, will likely be the post-time favorite in the Graduate for pacers off his 1:48.2 off-the-pace win a week ago at the Meadowlands in the series’ final leg.

The field for the Graduate Final for pacers in post-position order, with horse (and driver): Century Farroh (D. Miller), Shamwow (J. Stratton), Workin Ona Mystery (T. Tetrick), Dancin Lou (B. Sears), Hurrikane Emperor (M. MacDonald), Aflame Hanover (D. Miller), Captain Victorious (Y. Gingras), Brassy Hanover (S. Zeron), Bllack Hole (T. Tetrick), Bettor’s Wish (D. Dunn).


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