03/29/2014 11:14PM

Meadowlands: Avatartist and Hldontghttoyurdrms dominate series finals

Lisa Photo
Avatartist was all alone at the wire.

On paper, the $83,000 Clyde Hirt Final appeared to be a wide open race.  But on the racetrack, it was anything but. Avatartist, sent off as the 9-5 favorite, made the early lead in 26 1/5 prior to yielding to the pocket.  Driver Dave Miller made an aggressive move down the backstretch, reclaiming the lead past a 53 3/5 half-mile.  The Buckeye threw down the gauntlet and opened up a commanding lead heading to the top of the stretch and never had an anxious moment in the stretch winning in a stakes record 1:50 1/5.  Alexa’s Jackpot rallied very well off dull cover to be second, while Wake Up Peter came from an impossible spot to be third.

The winner is trained by Tony O’Sullivan for owners William Hill, Peter Harrisson, Michael Saftic and James Walker.  Ironically, Avatartist is not eligible to the upcoming Whata Baron series which begins Saturday April 5th, while Alexa’s Jackpot and Wake Up Peter are heading to that series next.

In the $60,600 Final of The Horse & Groom, it was a perfect storm for Hldontghttoyurdrms in more ways than one.  First, the 3-5 favorite Bambino Glide made a break prior to the start, never to be involved.  At the start, round one winner Amigo Ranger went off-stride.  Next, turning down the backstretch, with Hldontghttoyurdrms leading through a 27 3/5 opening quarter, pocket-sitting March Awareness broke stride, leaving the pace-setter with a six length lead heading to the half. Hldontghttoyurdrms got that half in 55 4/5 and three quarters in 1:24 3/5, while never facing a challenge and romping to an easy score in 1:53 4/5 for Canadian based driver Jonathan Drury.  The winner had been a bit disappointing in the first two rounds of the series, but with the money down, the gelded son of Muscles Yankee got the job done.  He is trained by Corey Johnson for owners Saverio Spagnolo, Frank Schimizzi and Frank Spagnolo. Longshot Magglio was second with Crosbys Clam Bake finishing third.

-edited release (Meadowlands)

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