04/22/2016 9:02PM

Meadowlands: Bee A Magician victorious in 2016 debut

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Bee A Magician trotted by the leaders after a second-over trip to win her first start of 2016 on Friday night

Bee A Magician, last year's Dan Patch Award winner for top Older Mare Trotter, was sharp in her seasonal bow on Friday night at the Meadowlands, winning the $25,000 open handicap trot in 1:52.

Driven by regular pilot Brian Sears, Bee A Magician tracked second-over cover behind Gural Hanover (Tim Tetrick) past the half while Shake It Cerry (Dave Miller) carved out fractions of 28 1/5, 57 2/5, and 1:25 2/5.

In the stretch Sears kept Bee A Magician buried on Tetrick's helmet until inside the final eighth when he brought her to the outside.  Once she was shown clear air, Bee A Magician trotted by Gural Hanover and Shake It Cerry on her way to the win by three-quarters of a length.  Gural Hanover was up late to snag second over Shake It Cerry.

A 6-year-old daughter of Kadabra, Bee A Magician is trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman for owners Mel Hartman, David McDuffee, and Herb Liverman of Ontario and Florida.  This was her 42nd career victory, and she has now earned $3,728,615.  She returned $5.60 to win.

Later on the card there was a companion $25,000 open handicap pace for fillies and mares, and another Dan Patch Award winner, Divine Caroline, was in action.  She was making her second start of her 4-year-old campaign after a fourth-place effort on April 12 at Dover Downs. 

The top 3-year-old pacing filly in the sport last year, Divine Caroline (Dave Miller) had to settle for second on this night, though, as Katie Said (Brett Miller) rallied from her cover to win in 1:50 4/5.  Divine Caroline, who attacked from first-over out of fifth at the half, had to settle for second, beaten just over a length, and Table Talk (Tim Tetrick), the leader through stations of 27 2/5, 55 4/5 and 1:23 3/5, wound up third.

Jimmy Takter trains the winner, a 5-year-old mare by Well Said, for owner Black Horse Racing.  This was the 15th win of her life, and she has now banked $359,475.