Tearful Reunion [$6.40, $3.80, $3.00] took command at the three-quarter marker and drew off to win the $7,400 ninth race, a new 1 1/2-mile event for claiming pacers, on Friday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Driven by Andy Miller, Tearful Reunion romped to a 5 1/4-length victory over the bulky 13-horse field in 2:57.2. Hez Da Man [$18.20, $11.00] was second, while Twinscpae [$16.60] held third. Tearful Reunion, a 5-year-old son of Art Major, posted his fourth win in 24 career starts for trainer Julie Miller (Andy’s wife) and the Bay Pond Racing Stable of Paoli, PA.
The race for $7,500 claimers will be carded weekly through March 11, with the top 10 money earners advancing to a $20,000 estimated final on March 23.
The first 1 1/2-mile race at the Meadowlands was held in December 1976 and won by Bound To Be N from the Ray Remmen barn. The track and world record for the distance is 2:53.1, set by What’s Next in 1987. The 1 1/2-mile distance was more commonplace in the early years of Meadowlands racing, most notably in the World Cup (1982-1985) and Statue Of Liberty (1985-1989) stakes.
The $16,000 first round of the Clyde Hirt Series for 4-year-old stallions and geldings also kicked off Friday night. Special T Rocks [$4.60] handily won the first division in 1:52.4 for driver Victor Kirby and trainer Daryl Bier. Bolero Andrew [$14.60] prevailed by a neck in 1:51.3 in the second split, while Flowmaster [$12.00, 1:52] and Real Flight [$3.80, 1:52.1] took the remaining pair of divisions.
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