Hambletonian hopefuls Big
Chocolate, Vic Smith and Guccio all visited the winner’s circle in the first
round of New Jersey Sire Stakes action for 3-year-old trotters on Friday night
at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Big Chocolate, with David
Miller at the lines, got up by a head over Market Share to win the fastest
colts’ division in 1:54.3. The Homer
Hochstetler trainee is now two-for-two this season. Last season as a two-year-old, Big Chocolate hit the board in
nine of 11 races and earned $201,560.
His victories included a division of the International Stallion Stakes
at The Red Mile and an elimination for the Peter Haughton at the Meadowlands.
Richard Keys of Chicago, IL bred and owns the son of Chocolatier-Shez Mine.
Vic Smith, who bested Big
Chocolate by nearly five lengths in last year’s NJSS final, took the first of
Friday night’s $17,000 divisions in 1:55.3 with Andy Miller in the sulky. Margareta Carlberg’s Mea Trav Inc. of East Windsor, NJ acquired
the colt on March 28 from Miller, his wife, Julie, who continues to train the
colt, and their partner Larry Baron.
Vic Smith won six of 11 races and earned $213,275 last season. The
son of Yankee Glide-PJ Naomi was a $30,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Selected Sale.
romped to an easy 1:55.1 victory in the remaining split with driver-trainer
Jimmy Takter in tow. A son of Yankee
Glide out of the mare Southern Senorita, Guccio was a $50,000 yearling purchase
at the Lexington Selected Sale by Christina Takter and brothers John and Jim
Fielding of Toronto. The colt earned
$60,672 in seven starts last year. His
lone win was a 1:55.4 score off a pocket trip in the Champlain Stakes at
All three victors are
eligible to the $1.5 million Hambletonian on Saturday, August 4 at the
Muscles Yankee daughters Shanty Irish and
Talbotcreek Jewelry captured the NJSS splits for sophomore fillies. Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi’s
Shanty Irish rebounded from a miscue in her sophomore debut with a hard-fought
victory in rein to Brian Sears.
Talbotcreek Jewelry, with Tim Tetrick at the lines, improved off her
effort in the Simpson to post her first win of the year. Linda Toscano is training the lass for her
Canadian connections, Paula Wellwood and Karen Caroll.
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