News & Stats



Saturday, September 25, 2021

Trainer Jenn Bongiorno can’t be happy that harness racing at The Meadowlands will go dark for the next three weeks, because that means her red-hot high-priced claimer Vettel N can’t keep on winning. 

Saturday night at The Big M, Vettel N won his third straight $100,000-$150,000 claiming handicap event for pacers – none as the betting favorite – after sitting a perfect pocket trip and roaring past even-money public choice Twin B Tuffenuff in deep stretch to win by a head in 1:50.2. Geez Joe was third. 

“Wow! I called him the ‘King of the 100 Claimers’ before tonight and there he goes again,” said Bongiorno. “Funny thing is, we were giving him the week off as we don’t like racing horses more than three-to-four weeks in a row, but Monday morning we realized this was the last week before The Meadowlands went on break, so we said: ‘Let’s race!’.”

At the outset, the top three choices left the gate quickly and barreled into the first turn to get positioning near the front in the six-horse field. At the quarter, Vettel N led in :26.4 before Twin B Tuffenuff grabbed the top and hit the half in :54.4 as another Bongiorno trainee, 9-2 third choice Major Betts, sat in the three-hole.

Major Betts appeared on the scene first-over to challenge the leader at three-quarters (1:23.3) as Vinny Ginsburg and Vettel N sat chilly in the pocket. In mid-stretch, Major Betts flattened out, allowing Vettel N more than enough space to vacate the pocket and go on to his 33rd career win from 126 starts. As the 3-2 second choice, Vettel N, an 8-year-old gelded son of American Ideal-Talk To Angels, returned $5.00 to his backers while upping his lifetime bankroll to $271,266 for owners JB Racing and Robert Devine.

“I am so incredibly proud of this horse,” said Bongiorno. “He’s showing everyone what we know he’s capable of doing. Huge credit goes to Vinny, who has driven this horse unbelievably in all three of his wins. It seems like he’s always in the perfect spot.”

A LITTLE MORE: Victor Kirby paced the driver’s colony with three winners while Montrell Teague registered two victories. … All-source handle totaled $1,861,217. … There will be no live harness racing at The Meadowlands for the next three weeks. Racing will resume on Friday, Oct. 22 at 6:15 p.m. as the Breeders Crown comes to the Big M with eliminations both that night and the day after, Saturday, Oct. 23, which has a special post time of noon. … The Breeders Crown Finals for 2-year-olds will then take place on Friday, Oct. 29 with a post time of 6:15 p.m., and on Saturday, Oct. 30, the 3-year-olds and older horses will take center stage with another noon post. … Thoroughbred racing returns to The Big M Friday, Oct. 1 and Saturday, Oct. 2. Post time is 7 p.m.

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