06/18/2012 2:52PM

Meadowlands Baby Race Recap 6/16/12


The 2-year-old stakes season at the Meadowlands is just 10 days away. The Simpson series for trotters kicks off on Thursday, June 28 and the pacers hit the track that Friday. The following week the Meadowlands will host the Reynolds series for freshman of both gaits and sexes.

With the impending arrival of the rookies competing in pari-mutuel action, it is of paramount importance to keep up to date on which horses looked good (and which didn’t) in the baby race action that took place this past Saturday (June 16).

Let’s take a look at some of the horses with commentary from our man at the track, P.J. Iovino.

Race 3 – To Dream On

Jimmy Takter-trained trotting filly won her initial baby race by 22 lengths in 1:57 3/5 and was back at it again on Saturday. She cruised to an easy score by 10 lengths in 1:57, with a final quarter of 27-seconds. The $200,000 yearling purchase appears to be on the right track.

Iovino – “TO DREAM ON pulled away early in the lane under light taps after soft fractions once again. I would like to see her pass a few horses next time out.”

Race 4 – Royal Assets

This rookie trotting filly wired the field in 2:00 1/5 in her first try and picked up her game this week. The final time was a sharp 1:59 4/5 and she switched to off-the-pace tactics. The half-sister to $573,151 earner Take My Picture is trained by Ray Schnittker.

Iovino – “ROYAL ASSETS made an impressive brush from last to take over final turn and just cruised to the wire.”

Race 5 – Sturdy Muscles

Trotting filly posted her second consecutive baby race score, this time in 2:00 4/5. The half-sister to $335,058 earner Eagle Canada is the fifth foal out of the mare Sturdy Lori.

Iovino – “STURDY MUSCLES made a quick and impressive brush passing the half. She was kept to task late signaling a pari-mutuel start is in order.”

Race 7 – Kegler Hanover

Another nice looking young Takter horse was Kegler Hanover. The trotting colt sat the pocket for the second consecutive start and easily posted a 2:00 3/5 victory. She is the first foal out of the unraced mare Kimberidge Hanover.

Iovino - “KEGLER HANOVER sat a pocket into soft fractions and blew by with a strong finish while untouched.”

Race 10 – Nikki Beach

Nikki Beach, a $90,000 yearling purchase, made her debut by finishing third for trainer Tony Alagna. Out of the first crop of Somebeachsomewhere, the filly posted a 1:58 3/5 final clocking while losing by five-plus lengths.

Iovino – “While the line on NIKKI BEACH may not look like much on paper, she was alert and under a stranglehold at the wire.”

Race 11 – Aria J

Pacing filly blitzed her competition by almost 10 lengths in 1:56 3/5 on Saturday. The $75,000 yearling purchase is an Art Major filly under the care of Linda Toscano.

Iovino – “ARIA J was very impressive without ever being asked at any point.”

Race 15 – Odds On Equuleus / Big Risk

Another repeat winner from the following week, this pacing colt posted a solid 1:55 1/5 win with a :26 4/5 final quarter. The Robin Schadt student knocked nearly two second off her 1:57 winning time from her previous start.

Iovino – “ODDS ON EQUULEUS came out third over and just blew them away in the lane; second straight impressive effort.”

Big Risk failed to live up to expectations. The brother to Rock n roll Heaven had the lead in the stretch but could only finish second behind Odds On Equuleus.

Iovino – “BIGRISK came to attack on the final turn and loomed large but hung when it mattered most.”

Race 16 – Doctor Butch

Pacing colt showed nice improvement in his second start. He tripped the timer in 1:54 4/5 for driver Tim Tetrick. The Toscano trainee was a $55,000 yearling purchase.

Iovino – “DOCTOR BUTCH tucked, brushed and dominated under full control.”

Race 17 – Cowboy Terrier

This son of Somebeachsomewhere posted the fastest morning mile by far. He scored by seven lengths in a swift 1:53 1/5 with trainer/driver Ray Schnittker at the controls.

Iovino – “COWBOY TERRIER may show a two-move blowout win, but he was under a heavy urge and was tiring badly in the final sixteenth.”

Race 18 – Deny Deny Deny

It was a wire to wire victory by this son of Art Major in 1:55 4/5 to close out the action. The reasonably priced $30,000 Lexington Selected purchase knocked more than three seconds off the mark he set last week for trainer Toscano.

Iovino – “DENY DENY DENY put up an impressive down-the-road effort and finished under a strong hold.”