In perhaps what was a prep for the John Cashman Memorial, Hot Shot Blue Chip and Sevruga sprinted away from the Free-For-All Handicap Field in 1:52. Hot Shot Blue Chip has been known to spring the occasional upset, including a victory over Chapter Seven in The Credit Winner Trot at Vernon Downs one year ago. Tonight, he pulled off another upset, wearing down Sevruga after sitting a perfect pocket trip behind the race favorite. It appears both trotters will be heading to the Eliminations for The John Cashman Memorial (previously The Nat Ray Invitational) one week from tomorrow. The winner is owned by Thomas Dillon of Anson, Maine, trained by Jonas Czernyson and was one of three wins on the night for Corey Callahan.
Tonight’s program also put the amateurs in the spotlight. The second race on the program, the GSY – Amateur Series went to Peter Kleinhans who guided Arid N to a victory in 1:56.1 as the owner, trainer and driver. The fourth race saw Robert Krivelin earn a popular amateur victory guiding Current Crisis to a 1:57.4 triumph. Krivelin trains Current Crisis for The Hero Stables of Goshen, N.Y.
Non-betting events tonight featured the Hambletonian Racing Under Saddle First Leg, with $5,000 Divisions. The first division went to Heather Reese as she guided A Penny Earned to the victory in 1:58.3 for trainer George Ducharme who has Hambletonian hopeful Royalty For Life. The second division went to The Standardbred Ventures, Motown Dreamgirl and Jennifer Lowrey in 2:01.3. The winning trainer was Robert Lounsbury. The second leg of the Racing Under Saddle Series will take place on Friday night, with the Final on Hambletonian Day.
The first race on the card saw the pari-mutuel debut of Trixton, a $360,000 Lexington-Select Yearling purchase. Trixton moved all on his own, reeling in the leaders who set a hot pace, scoring a powerful victory in 1:56.1. Trixton appears to be a potential budding star in the Freshman trotting ranks. He is trained by Jimmy Takter for Brixton Medical Ab and Christina Takter. Marcus Johansson was the winning driver.
Betting handle was solid once again, showing an increase of 36-percent. In addition, live handle was up 12-percent on what was a very hot and humid night in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The Miss Hot To Trot competition got underway and the 12 finalists will be competing in a pageant-style competition on Saturday night. That program includes the first round of The Ima Lula Trotting Series, featuring a match-up of the best filly trotters from 2012, Maven and Check Me Out. Post Time is at 7:15 P.M.
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