Two divisions each of sophomore trotting colts and fillies competed in $100,000 worth of John Simpson Memorials on Friday night at The Meadowlands Racetrack.
The fillies opened the card and local owner Joe Hess of New Milford, NJ saw his prize filly True Day Dream reduce her lifetime mark to a flat 1:54 for leading driver Yannick Gingras in the opener.The Kentucky-bred has won 9 of 13 career starts and over $100,000 thus far in her promising career.
Race two saw Miss Steele take advantage of a perfect pocket trip to wear down a game Andie Sophia in a season's record 1:53.4.
Miss Steele has been a model of consistency in her brief career with 11 in the money finishes in 15 career outings for earnings in excess of $125,000. She is owned by the partnership of driver Andy Miller, O. J. Miller and the team of Katz, Libfeld and Goldband and is trained by Julie Miller.
Muscle Mountain continued his progress and became another stakes winner for his prolific sire Muscles Yankee by taking the first colt division of the Simpson.
Brought along carefully by Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter, who handed the lines to Gingras for this assignment, the colt settled third before challenging the more established Fashion Blizzard first over. The coverless journey didn't faze Muscle Mountain as he ground out the win by three parts of a length in 1:54.4. Christina Takter shares ownership with John & Jim Fielding and J. A. Mc Clelland.
The evening's final division saw Modest Prince score a resounding upset. With Corky and My Man Can taking all the play, Modest Prince attracted a very modest legion of backers and rewarded them with a win mutual of $103.40.
Corky was allowed an uncontested lead and David Miller took full advantage by easing him through a 59.4 middle half. Modest Prince was taken back from his outside post and driver Jeff Gregory found himself in the unenviable spot of sitting last through slow number with a 50-1 shot.
Those obstacles did not deter the "Prince" as he staged a late rally and his 27.4 final quarter got the job done for the 2012 Hambletonian winning tandem of owner Richard Gutnick and trainer Linda Toscano in 1:56.1.
Once again the total handle showed significant gains, registering an increase of 38-percent, which included an increase in live handle as well.
Racing resumes with a blockbuster 14 race program on Saturday, featuring the first leg of the TVG Pacing FFA Championship with two $50,000 Open races and the first leg of the TVG Trotting FFA Championship in the form of two Cutler Memorial eliminations. Post time is 7:15 P.M.
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