Anndrovette and Economy Terror top the divisions of the $183,400 Golden Girls for the Free-For-All pacing mares on Saturday night at The Meadowlands Racetrack.
The stakes-laden 14-race card also offers the next leg in the TVG Championship for Free-For-All pacers on the road to the $500,000 final here on Nov. 30.
Golden Receiver, the leader in the first week of the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown standardbred poll, faces 11 rivals in the quest for berths in that end-of-season championship.
Blend in a quartet of $150,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes finals for 3-year-olds and you’ve got an action filled evening as the Championship Meet rolls on. First post is 7:15 p.m.
In the first Golden Girls division, Anndrovette is the 6-5 choice in the morning line set by Director of Racing Operations Darin Zoccalli.
The champion older pacing mare the last two seasons, Anndrovette had a brutal trip on Sunday in the $250,000 Betsy Ross at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Parked every step, she attacked the ambitious pace set by Drop The Ball. Anndrovette held on gamely, beaten only two lengths.
She has the outside post in the $90,450 six-horse division that includes an uncoupled pair from trainer Ron Burke: Bettor B Lucky and Ginger And Fred, a career winner of over $1.8 million.
Economy Terror won the Betsy Ross at 9-1; her price this week in the second Golden Girls division is 5-2.
She was both lucky and good in the Betsy Ross, sitting right behind Drop The Ball as that rival fended off constant pressure. Economy Terror took the inside path in the stretch, scooting through for a three-quarters of a length win over Rocklamation, who is also in this $92,950 division.
The champion 2-year-old filly pacer in 2011, Economy Terror starts from post No. 5. Tim Tetrick drives the favorites in both divisions of the Grand Circuit stakes.
Tetrick will also be in the sulky behind Golden Receiver, already a winner of 8 of 9 this year as he gears up for another challenge in the TVG Free For All as the 2-1 favorite. He captured a leg of the series here on May 11, and the 35 points each victory awards toward determining berths in the final.
Golden Receiver has had three weeks off. That should not be an issue given his history of coming back strong after a freshening. Trainer Mark Harder thought about the Dan Patch at Hoosier Park last weekend before deciding to keep his star closer to home.
“We went out there last year and he got sick,” Harder said. “He’s a horse that stays away from small tracks. He looks great. He feels great. He was not over raced as a young horse. I’m not amazed but I’m happy that he’s still doing it.”
Golden Receiver thrives at The Meadowlands, having won a second straight Presidential series final over the winter. Last season, the 8-year-old gelding was golden at the Big M, winning the Graduate, the U.S. Pacing Championship and the William Haughton Memorial.
Harder expects another terrific effort on Saturday.
“He hasn’t lost a step,” Harder said. “I actually worked him up pretty good on Tuesday morning and I was very happy with him. I came in and said to the grooms, ‘He’s never been better.’
“It’s all racing luck, and what can happen. The way he worked the other day, I’m very confident the others have their hands full.”
Golden Receiver has post No. 7.
The field also includes Sweet Lou, winner of the Meadowlands’ Maturity and a trio of talented 4-year-olds facing Golden Receiver for the first time: Pet Rock, Dynamic Youth and Bettor’s Edge.
The Sires Stakes finals are sprinkled with horses nominated to the major Meadowlands events later in the season. One of the most intriguing is Smilin Eli, a perfect 2 for 2 in his brief career heading into the Colt & Gelding final. Another victory here could be a springboard to the $1.2 million Hambletonian on Aug. 3, closing day of the Championship Meet.
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