07/01/2017 1:42PM

Meadowlands: Big ticket babies qualify, Pure Country goes 1:48

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Derick Giwner
Pure Country paced the fastest qualifier in harness racing history when she toured the Meadowlands in 1:48 Saturday morning

Breakfast With The Babies edition #5 at the Meadowlands began at 9:30 under overcast skies, with a slight breeze nudging them down the stretch and temps in the high 70’s.

Early arrivals were treated to a 1:52ish training mile by Huntsville, who currently sits atop the “Road To The Meadowlands Pace” leaderboard. Held out of the Hempt elimination and final races, trainer Ray Schnittker sent driver Tim Tetrick out to sharpen him up a bit, and he did just that. The closing quarter was 26 seconds or a tick faster with the driver sitting still.

At the top of the list performance-wise in the morning’s races were a pair of high-dollar 2016 yearlings that certainly look the part at this early stage. 

Trotter Quantum Kemp won by many, many lengths with trainer Jimmy Takter reliving his Hambletonian memory of 2014 when he drove his full brother Trixton to victory. Takter went right to the front with the $200,000 Lexington Selected Sale Muscle Hill colt and widened at every call through the 1:58 1/5 (28 2/5 final quarter) mile and appeared to be getting lonely near the wire with the official margin at 26 1/2 lengths. Brixton Medical, John Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman are the owners. American Steele (Marcus Miller) was second with Steven W Hill (David Miller) third.

In the very next race pacing filly Come See The Show (Tim Tetrick), the $550,000 Lexington sale product of the mating of former fastest horse in a race ever Somebeachsomewhere, with the former fastest mare in a race ever Put On A Show, put on a show of her own in 1:55 1/5. She sat along behind eventual place finisher Miswave Hanover (Marcus Miller), who turned in a gritty effort of her own, through a 1:29 1/5 three-quarters, then when tipped outside the leader she flashed 25 4/5 final quarter speed to edge by with minimal encouragement from the driver. Linda Toscano trains her for owners / breeders Joanne & Richard Young.

The morning started with Piranha Fury (SHS $90,000) taking the opener for David Miller in 1:59 2/5. Miller sent her out from post eight to drop in the deuce as Andy McCarthy cut the mile with eventual second-place finisher Falling In Love.  She would ease out around the final turn, then go by under her own power through the 28 2/5 final panel. Dab Hanover (Mattias Melander) was third. Nifty Norman trains the winner for Mel Hartman, Little E & Diamond Creek.

Live Laugh Love ($90,000 LEX) impressed in making it a sweep of the morning double for Miller and Norman, brushing by the field into the 28 flat last quarter to win in 1:56 2/5 while well in-hand. She races for her breeders, Mel Hartman and Diamond Creek, with Mr. Hartman’s usual partner David McDuffee in for a stake. Winbak Blondie (A. McCarthy) split fillies late with trot to be second while Apprentice M (Brett Miller) was third.

The Jimmy Takter and Yannick Gingras machine began to pick up steam in the third with Bella Glos ($95,000 SHS) leading all the way with a 27 2/5 sprint on the end of a 1:57 1/5 mile for Gingras. It was her second impressive win in as many baby starts. Lucky Rainbow sat the pocket and held second for the Miller/Norman team and Mooskha Stride (Tetrick), raced from behind today, was a very willing third gaining into the fast last fraction. Black Horse Racing owns the winner.

Takter won right back with the good-looking colt Wolfgang ($60,000 LEX), moving first-over around the final bend, engaging early leader Spee Club (Ake Svanstedt), and going by that one to win as he pleased in 1:56 1/5 (27 1/5 final quarter) under no urging. He’s by first crop sire My MVP and all I can say is look out Ohio! Unforgettable (Scott Zeron) went a nice trip for trainer Tony Alagna to be second and Spee Club stuck around for third. Brixton Medical, Bud Hatfiled Stable, Goran Falk and breeder Fair Island Farm share ownership of Wolfgang.

Cousin Rickard made it a Takter triple, converting a pocket trip into a 1:58 (28 1/5 final quarter) score with the trainer doing the driving. He’s a homebred by Johnny William owned by Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding and RAW Equine. Royson’s Tuffguy (Tetrick) cut the mile and held up well for second, with Godspell Hall (Zeron) closing nicely to be a comfortable third.

Azreal As It Gets was a winner for the trainer / driver duo of Ake Svanstedt and Yannick Gingras. Gingras sat in fourth until the stretch where he sent her after Band Stand (B. Miller), who had opened up on the field by several lengths.  Azreal As It Gets caught that one and went on by in the 27 4/5 end to the 1:55 4/5 mile. Our Horse Cents and Stable 45 are the owners of the So Surreal filly. Band Stand held second, with Princess Dalia (Tetrick) third.

Gingras drove Takter trainee Pro Beach (LEX $450,000) to a 1:54 2/5 win in his third baby start.  This time Pro Beach cut the mile through the 1:28 three-quarters, then was extended to hold off the late-rushing Better Watch Out (Tetrick) through a 26 2/5 final panel for the “W.” Jackamino (A. McCarthy) was along for third.  Brixton Medical, Marvin Katz and Bud Hatfield Stable are the proud owners of the royally-bred (Somebeachsomewhere-Darlin's Delight) colt.

Tetrick drove Love Yourself (SHS $52,000) to a front-end 1:54 4/5 (27 1/5 final quarter) win for trainer Svanstedt. Odds On Lauderdale (Zeron) made late gains to be second and JK Fielding (Gingras) recovered from an early stretch misstep for third.

Decoy ($110,000 LEX) won the last of the baby races, making it a six pack for the Takter barn.  Driven by David Miller, the stylish-looking colt set all the fractions, tacking a 26 3/5 last quarter on the 1:53 4/5 mile. Another Takter horse, Grand Teton (B. Miller), was a closing second and Liveonthephone (Svanstedt) third.

Fast Qualifiers

There were a few qualifiers of note this morning. 

The double Dan Patch Award winning pacing mare Pure Country went a sublime mile with trainer Jimmy Takter driving, reeling off three consecutive 27 2/5 quarters, then closing the 1:48 flat mile out with a 25 4/5 final panel.  This was the fastest qualifier in harness racing history, overtaking a 1:48 2/5 mile by Shark Gesture in June 2010.

Hannelore Hanover got in a bit of work in anticipation of the next leg of the Miss Versatility Series on Meadowlands Pace night with a 1:53 4/5 (26 2/5 final quarter) breeze for Gingras, defeating Barn Girl, who won the Miss Versatility final last year. 

Dr J Hanover (Zeron) and Caviart Luca threw down in a 26 flat end to a 1:50 3/5 mile, with the Doctor prevailing by a nose in the final strides to sharpen up for next Saturday’s Graduate final.

--press release (Meadowlands)--