Golden Receiver ended the 2012 Meadowlands meet right where he began - in the winner’s circle.
The season’s dominant older pacer led from gate to wire to win the $431,400 William R. Haughton Memorial, the headliner on the final program of the Championship Meet. Driven by Andy Miller, Golden Receiver ticked off fractions of 25.4; 54 and 1:21.2 en route to a final 1:48.2 clocking. We Will See finished second, while Aracache Hanover was third.
“He is an iron-tough horse,” Miller said. “He’s so good off the gate. As soon as I put everybody in a hole I showed him the whip a little bit and he responded, but he was able to relax again.”
Golden Receiver began the 2012 harness meet with a sweep of the Presidential Series, including the $110,500 final on January 28. He is one of only three horses in Meadowlands history to win both the Presidential and Haughton in the same season, joining Red Bow Tie (1999) and Alexie Mattosie (2011). The Mark Harder trainee also captured the $180,000 Graduate on May 12 and $242,500 US Pacing Championship on August 4.
His Haughton win boosted Golden Receiver’s record to 12 wins in 19 starts this season and lifted his 2012 bankroll to a career-high $744,925. Lifetime, the 7-year-old son of Village Jove has earnings of $1.39 million for Stable 45, Richard Taylor, Stephen Springer and Nina Simmonds.
On the rich undercard, Rebeka Bayama pulled an upset in the $218,550 Golden Girls for pacing mares. Driven by Sylvain Filion and trained by Pat Lachance, Rebeka Bayama rallied off cover to stop Drop The Ball by a half-length in 1:49. Ginger And Fred was a length and three-quarters back in third. Put On A Show, the 8-5 favorite and Lady Liberty winner, broke stride at the start and finished last.
Maven rebounded from a miscue in the Hambletonian Oaks to coast to a three and a half-length victory over Valdonna in the $191,500 Moni Maker for three-year-old trotting fillies. The Jonas Czernyson trainee, driven by Yannick Gingras, trotted the mile in 1:52.3.
Cedar Dove took command at the half and edged away to a one and three-quarter-length victory over Action-Broadway in the $40,000 Miss Versatility for trotting mares. The 4-year-old daughter of Andover Hall, driven by Ron Pierce and trained by Noel Daley, equaled her career mark with a 1:52.3 score.
The card also featured a quartet of $150,000 New Jersey Sire Championships for two-year-old horses. Johny Rock extended his winning streak to three with a career best 1:51.1 mile in the final for pacing colts and geldings. With Tim Tetrick driving, Johny Rock paced a career best 1:51.1. The John Butenschoen trainee has never been worse than second in six career starts.
Corky coasted to a three-length victory over King Muscles in 1:57.3 to win the final for trotting colts and geldings. The 1-5 favorite, driven by David Miller and trained by Jimmy Takter, picked up his third win in seven starts.
Southwind Cocoa, driven by Tim Tetrick, rallied from the far outside to nip Time To Kill by a nose and Shared Past by a neck in a three-horse photo finish in the final for trotting fillies. The Linda Toscano trainee covered the mile in 1:55.3, equaling the stakes record set by Act Of Grace on July 18, 1995.
Even-money favorite Authorize swept past Jerseylicious, tossing in a final quarter of 25.4, to win the final for pacing fillies by half a length in 1:52.3. Driven by Brian Sears and trained by Tony Alagna, Authorize extended her winning streak to four.
In the $5,500 Racing Under Saddle exhibition race, Tina Duer rode Chinese Cuisine to a five and three-quarter length victory over Helene Gregory aboard Armbro Doyle in 2:00.2. Chinese Cuisine, trained by John Duer, is a four-year-old gelding son of Revenue owned and bred by Peninsula Farm of Lexington, KY.
Driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke were presented with their first Meadowlands meet titles. Burke Racing also won the owner’s race.
Dave Palone earned a $10,000 check as the points leader in the first round of the Vernon Downs/Meadowlands Drivers’ Championship. He holds the advantage heading into round two at Vernon Downs on Sunday, August 26.
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