BELTASSIMA, REALLY FAST TAKE NJSS FINALS AT BIG M


Beltassima and Really Fast shrugged off the sloppy conditions on a brutal night weather-wise and utilized high early speed to win their respective $200,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for 3-year-olds on the trot at The Meadowlands Friday night.

Beltassima was superb in taking the division for fillies from post 10 in 1:54.1. Andy McCarthy had the daughter of Trixton-Beltane Hanover away quickly from the outside post in the full field but didn’t necessarily have designs on the top.

“I figured it would be tough from out there, but I figured I’d leave and take a spot somewhere,” said McCarthy, “but when I saw that there weren’t a lot of horses leaving, I went on with it. I just went into it thinking I’d figure it out as it went.”

Beltassima cleared 2-1 favorite Wet My Whistle just after the quarter before ‘Whistle’ immediately moved right back to the top. It was those two around the track until McCarthy found some space from the two-hole inside the eighth pole.

“I got squeezed a little bit there,” said McCarthy of being in tight quarters in the stretch, “but I waited until I got clearance.”

The Tony Alagna trainee took it from there, reporting home a neck winner over a fast-closing Avenir. Wet My Whistle held third.

“I wasn’t surprised [she won],” said McCarthy, “she’s been terrific.”

As the fifth choice in the betting, Beltassima returned $29.20 to her backers in winning her second straight and fourth from 10 lifetime starts. Her lifetime bankroll stands at $154,287.

In the split for colts and geldings, the Nancy Takter-trained Really Fast scored despite making only his fourth lifetime start.

“To race like that in the pouring rain,” said Takter, “it was a good performance. I was really happy with my horse.”

The son of Muscle Hill-Stubborn Belle was away alertly from post five in the 10-horse field and was on the point at the quarter in :27.4. Cuatro De Julio then made an authoritative brush to command before the half as the pair raced 1-2 into the stretch.

At the eighth pole, driver Yannick Gingras moved Really Fast off the rail and got by a stubborn Cuatro De Julio by a neck in a lifetime-best 1:52.2. Sonofamistery was third. Lindysmusclemania, the 4-5 favorite who was so impressive winning two weeks ago in 1:51.4, sat a four-hole to the half and went off stride while first-over nearing the far turn and finished eighth.

“He really does not have the experience of any of the other horses [he faced].” said Takter of Really Fast. “My horse was super. I was pretty confident he was going to get by. I’m going to be conservative with him. The first time he’ll race back-to-back weeks will be the Hambletonian elimination and final.”

Really Fast, who now has three career victories, paid $15.20 as the fourth choice in the betting and now has $121,750 in his bank account.