Balancing a badge with barn duty paid off handsomely for Philadelphia police officer Owen Eiler Jr. on Thursday night as he scored his first Meadowlands stakes win with Dontevenknowmymame in the $58,500 Super Bowl final.
Dontevenknowmymame came first up to clear the lead past the three-quarter marker and gamely dug in for a 1 1/4-length victory over My Man in 1:57. All Munky Business was third. Dontevenknowmymame, driven to victory by Eric Abbatiello, paid $9.80 to win the sixth race feature.
“Coming around the last turn I was worried about Yannick [Gingras] on my back [with My Man],” Abbatiello said, “but she kept trotting to the stretch. She put in a good effort. She’s very consistent. She hasn’t thrown in a clunker since Owen bought her.”
Eiler, who owns and trains the daughter of Master Lavec, purchased Dontevenknowmymame last October. She has since earned $63,605 toward a career bankroll of $108,861. Her win column now totals 13 in 44 starts.
“She’s a game mare,” Eiler said. “She took a lot of air tonight, but she keeps coming.”
Though a longtime horse owner, Eiler only obtained his trainer’s license a little over a year ago upon the urging of his children. He finished the 2011 season with 14 wins and $173,507 from 126 starters.
“It’s a lot of hard work,” said the 49-year-old conditioner of juggling two careers. “I give a lot of credit to Eric and to her two grooms, Anthony and Joanie.”
Fella’s Ella, a 75-1 shot, picked an opportune time for her first career win in the $38,000 White Ruffles final for 4-year-old pacing mares.
The Pacific Fella lass, steered by Steve Smith, split horses in the lane and got up in the nick of time to take the fifth race co-feature by a head over Devine Filly in 1:55.3. She paid $157.40 to break her maiden in her eighth start. John Pyott trains the mare for his brother, Robert, of Millville, NJ.
“I started out in the back and got shuffled,” Smith said. “Around the last turn, nobody was behind me so I was actually able to save a little bit of ground. I was able to slip out and just wait for a little bit of room.
“Her lines coming from Monticello didn’t look too impressive, but she stepped right up,” Smith continued. “She’s a big filly and likes a big track. She started out very green and has come a long way in just three weeks.”
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