Saturday night at the Meadowlands offered perfect weather with comfortable temps and just a hint of an eastern breeze as the sophomore filly trotters competed in the $47,915 WN Reynolds Memorial Grand Circuit stakes at 6:50pm. The early start was made necessary by the entry of just a quartet when the race was drawn on Tuesday, resulting in the early, non-wagering format.
If it were a wagering contest, Take The Money would have been a heavy favorite and she would have delivered, taking the big share after leading all the way in 1:55.3. Bikini So Teeny tracked the winner throughout and although she menaced late for Charlie Norris, she could not go by in the 27.2 final quarter.
Take The Money is owned by Barry Guarligia’s Black Horse Racing and the winner’s share put her past $160,000 in earnings for the season. Julie Miller is the conditioner and Marcus Miller had the assignment for this one.
On the body of the wagering card were a pair of eleven colt divisions of the Reynolds going forth as races two and twelve with a purse of $32,207 offered for each.
Nuncio played the lead role in the first division getting his final tune-up for the August 2 Hambletonian and he did not disappoint. Nuncio was put into play early from post seven by John Campbell and cleared quickly to the lead before yielding to Resolve and Corey Callahan for a few steps past the 27.2 quarter. Back to the front on the re-move, Campbell rated Nuncio kindly then kicked home in 27.3 to reduce his career best to 1:51.4.
Resolve raced very well and was gaining on the unthreatened winner to be beaten less than a length for new connections owner Hans Enggren and trainer Nancy Johansson. Amped Up Hanover was third throughout and held his position for the Burke barn
Nuncio is trained by Jimmy Takter for international connections, Stall TZ. Trainer Takter said good things about the colt who would be the Hambo favorite in many other years in his post-race interview.
The twelfth race would feature another Takter Hambo hopeful, the enigmatic Trixton. He’s developed into a classic horse for Jimmy this summer and tonight Takter pulled the front shoes and added blinkers in an attempt to squeeze another tick or two out of the colt and close the gap on Hambletonian favorite Father Patrick.
The race began with a quick start by Muscle Midas from the outside and he cleared the lead well before the 27.2 quarter. Takter edged Trixton to the outside and claimed the top, gradually widening the margin through the 27.1 final quarter to end the 1:51.4 mile. Datsyuk closed to be second with Lightning Force third.
Post-race Takter spoke of the evolution of Trixton and the upcoming Hambletonian, “I liked to try him without shoes, it’s more natural. He’ll get a few days to recover then some light work going into the race. I feel we’ll really see how great he is in the future years.”
The driving star of the night was John Campbell who won a half dozen races. Total handle was up ten percent over a year ago at $2,658,445 and the live in the building on Meadowlands races reflected a 12% increase over 2013 numbers.
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