07/14/2011 10:43AM

Big Jim installed as Meadowlands Pace favorite


Harness Racing on DRF.com
For 116 years DRF has been synonymous with Thoroughbred racing. However, we are the Daily RACING Form.

Why stop with Thoroughbred racing?

Over the coming weeks you will notice a new era for DRF as we unveil our Harness coverage. Featured first will be one of the marquee events in the sport: $1,000,000 Meadowlands Pace. You can think of it as the Kentucky Derby for pacers, featuring the best 3-year-old pacers in North America at the Mecca of Harness Racing, the Meadowlands.

The Meadowlands Pace card also features a $150,000 guaranteed pick four.

When the Pace is in the books, the focus will shift to Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands, the ultimate experience in standardbred racing. The $1.5 million Hambletonian and $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks for sophomore trotters of each sex highlight a stake-filled card.  


All eyes in the harness world will be on the Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday night for the $1 million Meadowlands Pace, an appearance by the undefeated pacing filly See You At Peelers (19 for 19), and a $150,000-guaranteed pick four pool.

An open event for 3-year-olds, the Meadowlands Pace is led by 2-1 morning-line favorite Big Jim. The son of Western Ideal won his elimination race last Saturday and three of six starts this year, including the $400,000 New Jersey Classic on this same oval.

“If it was up to me, I would have chosen post 7 because we have never lost from that spot,” said owner James Carr before selecting the more logical post 2.

Big Jim, one of four Canadian-owned horses in the 10-horse field, will be driven by Phil Hudon.

Custard the Dragon (post 3) captured the second of two eliminations. Co-owned and trained by George Teague Jr. and driven by his son Montrell, Custard the Dragon is the 4-1 second choice. Montrell Teague, 20, will attempt to become the youngest driver to win the Pace.

Rounding out the field from the rail out are: Westwardho Hanover (post 1, 15-1); Feel Like a Fool (post 4, 12-1); Wink N Atcha (post 5, 15-1); Powerful Mist (post 6, 5-1); Betterthancheddar (post 7, 10-1); Roll With Joe (post 8, 6-1); Bestofbest Hanover (post 9, 15-1); Foreclosure N (post 10, 10-1).

See You At Peelers will try to run her streak to 20 in the $127,000 Tarport Hap, race 5. The Meadowlands Pace is race 9 and anchors the guaranteed pick four.

Bet the Meadowlands Pace card here with DRF Bets.

$1 million Meadowlands Pace -- Download the free Past Performance (pdf) compliments of TrackMaster
Saturday, July 16, Meadowlands Racetrack
Race 9; estimated post time 10:08 p.m.
PP, Horse, Driver, Trainer, Odds

1. Westwardho Hanover, Brett Miller, Tim Pinske, 15-1
2, Big Jim, Phil Hudon, James Dean, 2-1
3. Custard The Dragon, Montrell Teague, George Teague Jr, 4-1
4. Feel Like A Fool, Brian Sears, George Teague Jr, 12-1
5. Wink N Atcha, Yannick Gingras, George Teague Jr, 15-1
6. Powerful Mist, Andy Miller, Wayne Givens, 5-1
7. Betterthancheddar, Dave Miller, Casie Coleman, 10-1
8. Roll With Joe, Ron Pierce, Edward Hart, 6-1
9. Bestofbest Hanover, Mike Lachance, Daniel Martin, 15-1
10. Foreclosure N, Tim Tetrick, Mark Steacy, 10-1
Free picks for entire race card

$150,000 Guaranteed Pick Four

$1 PICK 4 - 2,5,8 / 3,5 / 5,8 / 2,5,10 = $36

RACE 6 - BROAD BAHN hasn't really been mentioned in the same breath as the top 3-year-olds but he's quietly having a solid season. Brennan's Hambo hopeful was a well rated winner in last week's tuneup and he can sit a live trip here. DEJARMBRO has looked super this season, especially in the Beal at Pocono, where he was a dominant winner. He's clearly the one to beat here. PASTOR STEPHEN was the runner-up to Dejarmbro the last time they met, and he got going too late in last week's prep. More aggressive handling tonight?

RACE 7 - PET ROCK rated and sprinted home in :26 in just his second lifetime start. Rocknroll Hanover offspring may try to employ the same tactics tonight. TIME TO ROLL tracked live cover and responded late to win going away last week. It's hard to ignore these connections.

RACE 8 - MR MASSIMO was left uncovered to tackle the well-meant winner, was rebuffed and excusably tired. Aaron Lambert charge gets needed class relief, a perfect post and is reunited with Yannick Gingras. SAM HILL was home free when he broke deep stretch out of nowhere. He deserves another look off that effort.

RACE 9 - BIG JIM was the "it" horse earlier this season, tailed off some but has seemed to regain his throne. His elimination effort was flawless and he deserves to be the favorite off that effort. Can Phil Hudon come through on the biggest of stages? WINK N ATCHA flashed good speed from post ten in his elimination effort and held okay late. The gelding is one of three Teague, Jr. entrants which all seem to have a shot and this one could be forwardly placed early. FORECLOSURE N closed with a purpose last week in a mainly paceless race. Three-year-old has plenty of game, but how will he respond to post ten? The price should be right to take a shot.

--Selections by Matt Rose

More on the Meadowlands Pace:
Meadowlands Pace string ends at 30 years for John Campbell
Betterthancheddar looks to buck trend at Meadowlands Pace
Canadian entries have inside track at Meadowlands Pace