The $35,000 second leg of the Aquarius series open to all comers four years of age featured what appeared to be a showdown between Warrawee Needy and Escape The News. The hype was delivered as advertised.
Sent away as the second wagering choice, Escape The News used the race as a stage to avenge last week’s loss to Warrawee Needy. Meadowlands leading driver Yannick Gingras put Escape The News in position to win by sending him hard from the start and taking the 3-5 fave Warrawee Needy well through the first turn in a 26.2 opener. Once clear, driver Mark MadDonald let “Needy” roll through demanding splits of 53.4 and 1:21.stretching the short field to its limit. Gingras was chasing Escape The News to keep contact from the pocket, giving the Artiscape gelding a punchers chance at the leader. Deep stretch, the airing out took its toll on the leader and Escape The News edged clear for the win in a personal best and the fastest mile of the young season of 1:48.4. Warrawee Needy held second over a well meant Bakin On The Beach who flashed sneaky pace very late.
Escape The News improved his 2013 slate to four wins and a pair of seconds in six seasonal starts for America’s leading trainer Ron Burke. He is owned by a partnership that includes the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver/Bruscemi, JJKStables and Howard Taylor. Winning driver Yannick Gingras scored a grand slam on the card.
The $57,500 Aquarius final becomes far more compelling after tonight’s result and will be raced next Saturday night along with the $50,000 Horse & Groom trotting series final.
The betting windows saw large returns once again, as the total handle for the Saturday card of $3,514,787 was an increase of 27% from the $2,766,624 bet on this same Saturday in 2012.
This week, the final Thursday night of the season is set to go with a 10 race program and first post of 7:15 P.M.
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