The New Jersey Sires Stakes for trotting freshmen, fillies and colts, opened their 2013 season on Friday night at the Meadowlands.
The first crop of 2009 Hambletonian winner and Horse of the Year Muscle Hill were making their pari-mutuel debuts on this evening and he was well represented with winners in both colt divisions.
In the first $20,500 division, there were three by that sire and they took the first two positions. Southwind Spirit lived up to the hype after a couple of easy baby race wins with an effortless forwardly placed 1:57- win over Well Built. He took over just past the 58.3 half and sealed it with a 28.1 final stanza for leading Meadowlands driver Yannick Gingras. The colt is owned by Burke Racing LLC, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC & Stable 45. Ron Burke is the trainer.
Hill I Am (one of five Muscle Hills in this division) scored a mild upset in the second split leading all the way in his 1:56.4 victory. "Captain" Corey Callahan rated him kindly through a 59.3 half and engaged race favorite Great Society when that one came quickly just past that mark, then went off stride. Hill I Am widened on his rivals near the wire, using a 28.2 last quarter to seal the win.
The two divisions of fillies (for a total purse of $37,500) were won by daughters of Muscles Yankee.
Dancing For Money shipped in from Ontario and was up in the last step to win in 1:59.3 for John Campbell. Paula Wellwood trains and owns the filly with Karen Carroll.
Cee Bee Yes finished up her 1:58.1 win with a 57- half and 28.1 quarter for an easy score. Andy Miller drove for wife Julie, the trainer. The Allens, Jason and Douglas share ownership.
It was another fantastic Friday at the betting windows for the Meadowlands. The total handle for the 13-race card of $2,449,807 marked an increase of $1,138,721 or an astonishing 87-percent from the 11-race card on the same Friday in 2012. In addition, the live handle showed an increase of 46-percent. Not only were the Meadowlands handle figures up when compared to 2012, but they were also up substantially from 2011 as well.
Racing returns on Saturday featuring Beerfest and great on-track entertainment for the 14-race program with post time of 7:15 P.M.
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