07/03/2014 9:06AM

Meadowlands: Bargain colt seeks to follow in sire's footsteps

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Art Official, sire of Let's Drink On It, winning the 2008 Meadowlands Pace.

How many times can David beat Goliath? Back in 2008, trainer Joe Seekman brought a $10,000 Tattersalls purchase named Art Official to the Meadowlands Pace and upset the great Somebeachsomewhere. Now in 2014, he returns with a $12,000 Lexington Selected buy possessing a similar profile and a chance at advancing to the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace final on July 12 at the Meadowlands.

The similarities between Art Official and Seekman’s current hopeful, Let’s Drink On It, go beyond simply purchase price. Both colts prepped for the North America Cup in the Burlington (now called Somebeachsomewhere) at Mohawk and finished second prior to disappointing efforts in the Cup Final. While the coincidences subsided for the weeks leading up to the Meadowlands Pace, Art Official was considered, and his son—Let’s Drink On It—is expected to be, only a fringe player in the final.

“They are both high speed type horses, but they are really different individuals,” said Seekman. “They are pretty close in size, but Let’s Drink On It has more quick speed and Art Official was more of a grinder.”

[DRF HARNESS: Watch the Meadowlands Pace elims and $484K Hambletonian Maturity on DRF!]

Looking back on the 2008 Meadowlands Pace, Seekman recalls being confident in his colt. Of course the task of defeating Somebeachsomewhere, a horse that only lost once in his career, was monumental. But the trainer knew he had something in his bargain purchase.

“I was pretty confident and to pick up Ron Pierce helped,” remembered Seekman, who has a similar feeling coming into the 35th edition of the Pace. “After last week (1:48 3/5 win at the Meadowlands), it really picked us up and I feel he is as good as he can be. There are several in this group that are right there and whoever gets the best trip will probably win.

“If you look at his six starts, five have been first-over trips. That is not his ideal style,” concluded Seekman, who thought his charge was ready for a 1:47 mile if things worked out.

Having an all-time great like Pierce in the bike certainly helps. However, on Saturday, Let’s Drink On It will have the services of regular pilot Tyler Smith, a 21-year-old prodigy who took advantage of a weak driving colony last Saturday at the Meadowlands and won five races.

“We stuck with him after a rocky time in Canada and the owners have a lot of confidence in him. I think he’ll hold his own,” said Seekman of the young driver.

Let’s Drink On It will start from post one against arguably two of the top four 3-year-old pacing colts in the sport. North America Cup runner-up Tellitlikeitis (post 7) and third-place finisher He’s Watching (post 9) will make their first starts since that race three weeks ago.

Tellitlikeitis won two of three starts in 2014 and the Jimmy Takter-trained colt has displayed high speed for driver Brett Miller. He’s Watching was perfect in eight starts as a rookie but has only been able to visit the winner’s circle once in four starts thus far this year.

Carded as race seven, Let’s Drink On It is the 9/2 third choice on the morning line in the nine-horse second Meadowlands Pace elimination.

In the eight-horse first elimination, North America Cup winner JK Endofanera was installed as the 6/5 early choice from post six. Contenders in that group include Limelight Beach, Doo Wop Hanover, Always B Miki and Lyonssomewhere.

The top five in each elimination qualify for the final. Elimination winners are given the opportunity to choose their posts.

Post time for the 13-race card, which also includes the $484,500 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters, is 6:30 PM.

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Meadowlands Pace Elim #1 - Race 6

POST HORSE DRIVER MORNING LINE ODDS
1 LIMELIGHT BEACH J.CAMPBELL 5-1
2 NATIONAL DEBT R.PIERCE 20-1
3 DOO WOP HANOVER C.CALLAHAN 8-1
4 UNLOCKED M.MILLER 20-1
5 SOMEWHERE FANCY T.TETRICK 15-1
6 JK ENDOFANERA B.SEARS 6-5
7 ALWAYS B MIKI D.MILLER 5-1
8 LYONSSOMEWHERE Y.GINGRAS 3-1

Meadowlands Pace Elim #2 - Race 7

POST HORSE DRIVER MORNING LINE ODDS
1 LET'S DRINK ON IT T.SMITH 9-2
2 SOMETIMES SAID C.CALLAHAN 8-1
3 ALLSTAR PARTNER B.SEARS 20-1
4 JET AIRWAY M.MILLER 12-1
5 LUCK BE WITHYOU R.PIERCE 6-1
6 SOMESTARSOMEWHERE Y.GINGRAS 12-1
7 TELLITLIKEITIS B.MILLER 8-5
8 BEAT THE DRUM D.MILLER 15-1
9 HE'S WATCHING T.TETRICK 5-2