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Meadowlands: Bee A Magician sets a world record in Del Miller Memorial
By Jay Bergman
Undefeated three-year-olds were the star attraction at the Meadowlands on Saturday night and Bee A Magician proved the only one capable of setting a world record. The daughter of Kadabra, making her first appearance south of the border for trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman blazed to a 1:51 world mark in capturing the $265,000 Del Miller Memorial for new driver Brian Sears.
Sears allowed a host of leavers to do as they wish with also formerly unbeaten Frau Blucher eventually clearing the front past the quarter of :27 1/5. Bee A Magician took charge shortly thereafter and carved out rated fractions of :55 1/5, 1:23 1/5 on her way to the impressive victory.
Frau Blucher would hold second with longshot Mystery Woman nearly rolling by her late but settling for third.
Driver Sears theorized that perhaps it was a new bike that was pinching Bee A Magician which scared her into the record setting performance.
Trainer Norman immediately tried to put to rest thoughts of entering his filly in the Hambletonian (August 3) that this year will be contested in heats on a single afternoon. “Not two heats,” Norman said, “I just can’t do it. She has too many races afterwards. I think it would be too tough.”
Sears scored a double and set himself up very nicely with two solid trotting mounts for the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks when he guided Royalty For Life to victory in the $294,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial.
This was an epic performance despite a close finish for Royalty For Life, who entered the race with no wins in three starts and breaks in every one of them. This time Sears refused to grab into the R C Royalty colt and did what some might think unthinkable allowing the colt to race four-wide through much of the opening quarter. The extra distance didn’t seem to hamper the colt in any way as he marched to the front after the :27 1/5 opening quarter and never looked back. Royalty For Life cut fractions of :55 1/5 and 1:24 2/5 and then had to take on a fresh Spider Blue Chip with driver Ron Pierce in the stretch. For a time it appeared that one had the leader measured but Sears reached down and put Royalty For Life to some urging and the colt survived by a head in 1:52. Longshot Dewycolorintheline rallied for third.
“Once he got through the first turn and made the lead I was relieved,” said trainer George Ducharme after the victory. “I really believe the horse is getting better and over that stuff (misbehaving).”
The $471,800 William Haughton Memorial turned into the race of Pet Rock’s life. The four-year-old, dismissed at 9-1 after being out-photoed by Sweet Lou in last week’s elimination, turned the tables and him and eight other rivals with a dramatic and powerhouse 1:47 mile.
Driver Dave Miller wasn’t going to let post nine keep him out of contention and he left alertly with Pet Rock getting a spot in front of new-world champion and race favorite Warrawee Needy heading into the first turn.
With speedsters Golden Receiver and Bolt The Duer jetting away from the gate and lining up one-two to the quarter, Miller made the winning move blasting to the front before the half. The move may have surprised almost everyone in the field as Golden Receiver and Corey Callahan had command in :26 for the opening quarter but yielded willingly despite a half of just :53 4/5.
But no one was going to give Pet Rock the race and Jody Jamieson, behind Warrawee Needy, amped up the pressure and fought on even terms with Pet Rock through a third quarter clocked in an accelerated 1:20 2/5.
This appeared to set the stage for Sweet Lou to again roll over Pet Rock but the son of Rocknroll Hanover was never threatened again sprinting a :26 3/5 final quarter and leaving his rivals in the dust. The always traffic-prone Bolt The Duer got caught behind a tiring Golden Receiver and knifed through late for the place with Sweet Lou finishing third.
Pet Rock had gained a reputation as a horse that couldn’t cut the mile and win but the Haughton triumph was his shining moment leading his driver to opine “Shut them guys up now, didn’t we,” Miller said.
Driver Tim Tetrick doubled up, adding the $184,250 Mistletoe Shalee with I Luv The Nitelife to his Meadowlands Pace score behind Captaintreacherous. The short field of seven had some action early but once I Luv The Nitelife got the front before the half the race seamed to be over.
However, in the stretch a host of fillies looked to be attacking I Luv The Nitelife on all fronts but Tetrick kept her to her business and she scored in 1:50 as the 2-5 choice. Charisma Hanover squeezed through for the place with Novascotia Hanover rallying wide for third.
The driver seemed to recognize the danger he was in as the field came to him, “I thought a lot of them would pass at first but my mare dug in,” Tetrick said.
Four $150,000 finals of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-olds of both sexes and gaits were contested. Western Vintage, a two-year-old pacing colt, remained unbeaten scoring in 1:52 2/5 under wraps for Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Johansson.
“He’s one of the best (two-year-olds) we’ve seen so far,” said Gingras.
Hill I Am showed an incredible gait and determination to match holding off Gingras and Southwind Spirit in the two-year-old trotting colt division. Corey Callahan drove the winner for trainer Dennis A. Laterza to a 1:55 4/5 mile equaling his lifetime best.
Owner-breed Roy Dobbins spoke of how advanced Hill I Am had been through his training, “We actually had to let up on him two or three times to keep him from going faster than we wanted to,” said Dobbins.
The husband-wife team of Andy and Julie Miller scored with Cee Bee Yes in an exciting three-way finish in the event for two-year-old trotting fillies. Cee Bee Yes is a daughter of Muscles Yankee. She won in 1:56 3/5, her second win in as many starts.
“She’s a nice filly,” said Andy Miller, “How far she goes, who knows, but she has done what we’ve asked so far.”
Bolt Of Thunder and John Campbell captured the two-year-old filly pace final in 1:53 1/5 for trainer Larry Remmen. The Rocknroll Hanover-sired lass scored her first win in three lifetime starts.
“She got tired but showed some guts down the lane,” said Campbell.
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