02/28/2013 11:35AM

Meadowlands: Alagna has a strong pair in Junior Trendsetter final

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Derick Giwner
Tony Alagna

In a few months trainer Tony Alagna will wheel out sophomore sensation Captaintreacherous to compete in the major stakes races. For now, Alagna has high hopes for a pair of young and improving three-year-old pacers featured in Saturday’s $48,000 Junior Trendsetter final at the Meadowlands. What Wilcox and Humility may lack in experience, they more than make up for in speed and desire.

Alagna is well aware of how the odds are stacked against him with Resistance Futile, a repeat winner in the series legs, looking nearly invincible. Fortunately for his tandem the favorite landed post ten in the field but still remains the solid chalk.

“Resistance Futile has certainly been impressive,” said Alagna, “He had stakes experience as a two-year-old and I think that gives him an edge over my colts.”

But the edge may have narrowed with the draw, especially for Humility, a well-bred son of American Ideal that starts from post three.

“I’ve been very happy with Humility,” said Alagna. “He closed very well the first week when he won and last week he was solid again.”

That last start was a second place finish behind Resistance Futile with Humility pacing a final quarter of :27 2/5 to get within two lengths of the winner. Whether driver Tim Tetrick can close that gap and pace with the favorite this week remains to be seen.

Alagna’s other sophomore, Wilcox landed post nine in the field but will have the services of “Mr. Saturday Night”, Yannick Gingras in the sulky. The altered son of Somebeachsomewhere has been a learning experience for both driver and trainer but it appears that both have finally figured out what works for the horse.

“He needs a target,” said Alagna. “It doesn’t matter if you come first over with him he’ll want to pass horses. He’s coming into the final in great shape.”

In fact Wilcox, a winner three times in five starts this year, has displayed plenty of early and late speed but perhaps last week’s mile was his best to date, as he overtook a well-preserved Terror High in the late stages.

Whether post ten will be enough to halt Resistance Futile’s winning streak remains to be seen. The Real Desire-sired colt ran away from the field he faced in the opening leg of the series coasting to a 1:51 1/5 season’s mark. Last week he appeared to be stuck on the outside with no hope for cover when Andy Miller let him loose with a ferocious brush to the front. Resistance Futile paced his second quarter in :27 flat and still had plenty left in the tank to march off with a 1:51 3/5 victory while well in hand. Robby Siegelman trains the colt on loan in New Jersey from the Blair Burgess stable.

Trainer Aaron Lambert could have the surprise package in his stable entry of Axiom Hanover and A Bettor World. Both sophs missed second round action due to sickness but appeared in the entry box on Wednesday indicating they are ready for battle. Axiom Hanover was extremely impressive in his only Junior Trendsetter mile, pacing sharply to the wire in arrears of Resistance Futile in his opening leg placing. The gelded son of Dragon Again paced home in :26 4/5 in just his second lifetime start. Corey Callahan has the driving assignment behind Axiom Hanover from post two.

A Bettor World, a compact son of Bettors Delight, was a safe winner in opening round action of the series with Dave Miller in the bike. The colt campaigned on the New York Sire Stakes circuit with some success as a juvenile and owns a 1:52 4/5 mark taken in the opening leg. A Bettor World starts from post four.

The Junior Trendsetter is race 11 on the 13-race Saturday evening program (first post 7:15 p.m.).

Co-featured on the card is the opening leg of the Aquarius Series slated as race six. The $35,000 contest for four-year-olds marks the seasonal debut of Warrawee Needy (post 2). He won a qualifier at the Meadowlands last Thursday in 1:53 1/5 and may actually have the pedigree that works perfectly over the East Rutherford oval. Warrawee Needy’s sire, E Dees Cam was a regular in the Meadowlands winner’s circle, winning the Presidential series and Graduate Finals over the years.

Escape The News (post 3) figures to give Warrawee Needy a keen battle. The Ron Burke-trained gelding raced well in both starts here earlier in the meet and most recently freshened with a qualifier at The Meadows clocked in 1:53 flat.