07/05/2017 11:21AM

Meadowlands: Big night on tap Saturday

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Fields have been drawn for the 2017 Meadowlands Pace and Graduate Finals, all on the Saturday card at The Meadowlands, which also features the 2017 debut of 2-year-old champion trotter Walner.

Thirteen sophomore pacers were declared for the Pace which, per race conditions, resulted in byes being offered to and accepted by the connections of Downbytheseaside, Classic Pro and Miso Fast, as three of the top 2017 money winners. The remaining 10 horses will race in a $50,000 single elimination race on Saturday (7/8) with seven of those advancing to a complete a field of 10 for the $738,550 Final on July 15.

Huntsville, despite being the second leading money winner thus far in 2017, drew post position one on Saturday when trainer Ray Schnittker elected to race rather than accept a bye.

The elimination race winner will draw for an inside post (1-6) for the final.

The Pace Elimination will go as the eighth race on Saturday night's card.

Two very competitive Graduate Finals worth $240,00 each were also drawn for Saturday. Marion Marauder, the 2016 Hambletonian winner, was dealt a serious blow to his chances with post nine in the Trot Final (race 9). Dr J Hanover (post 4) and Sintra (post 6), both multiple leg winners in the Pace division, seek to close out the series with a win.

With his issues seemingly behind him and fresh off two spectacular qualifiers, Walner, everyone’s leading candidate to win the Hambletonian, will make his first pari-mutuel start of 2017 in the second race on Saturday. The Linda Tsocano trainee starts from post two in what looks like a very easy spot with Tim Tetrick in the bike.

Also in action on the 12-race program with an early 6:30 p.m. post time is Older Pacing Champion Lady Shadow (post 9) in a $20,000 Preferred Handicap (race 7). The earlier post time means an altered wagering menu, with the Pick 5 moving to race 3, the early Pick 4 to race 5 and the late Pick 4 to race 9. All three wagers will see an increase in guarantee amounts for July 15, with the Pick 5 at $30,000, early Pick 4 at $40,000, and the late Pick 4 at $75,000.

Race 8 – Meadowlands Pace Elimination

Post Horse Listed Driver
1 Huntsville Tim Tetrick
2 Talent Soup Eric Abbatiello
3 Mr Varisty Brett Miller
4  Blood Line Mark MacDonald
5 R J P Marcus Miller
6 Santafe’s Coach David Miller
7 Mac’s Jackpot David Miller
8 Boogie Shuffle Scott Zeron
9 Western Hill Doug McNair
10 Filibuster Hanover Yannick Gingras

Race 9 - $240,000 Graduate Trot Final

Post Horse Listed Driver
1 Broadway Donna David Miller
2 Cufflink Hanover Corey Callahan
3 Trolley Marcus Miller
4 Tight Lines Jeff Gregory
5 Dayson Yannick Gingras
6 Dia Monde Jody Jamieson
7 Warrawee Roo Dan Dube
8 Double L Lindy Ake Svanstedt
9 Marion Marauder Scott Zeron

Race 10 - $240,000 Graduate Pace Final

Post Horse Listed Driver
1 Artmagic David Miller
2 Lyons Snyder Scott Zeron
3 Roll Away Joe Matt Kakaley
4 Dr J Hanover Doug McNair
5 Seeley Man Brett Miller
6 Sintra Jody Jamieson
7 Manhattan Beach Tim Tetrick
8 Boston Red Rocks Brett Miller
9 Check Six Yannick Gingras
10 Western Fame Mark MacDonald

-with files from Meadowlands