05/20/2017 10:15PM

Meadowlands: Broadway Donna beats the boys in Graduate Series opener

Lisa Photo
Broadway Donna got the better of Dayson (#1) after a hard-fought stretch duel

Broadway Donna faced off against a field of male rivals in the $75,000 first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters on Saturday night at the Meadowlands, but she was tenacious and tough from first-over, tallying a 1:52 1/5 triumph.

Driven by David Miller, Broadway Donna settled in fifth while Southern Cross (Oskar Florhed) and Tight Lines (Jeff Gregory) battled to the 28 1/5 opening quarter, then remained in that position while 6-5 wagering choice Dayson (Yannick Gingras) moved into command before the 56 1/5 half. Sensing that he was not going to get any cover, Miller made the first-over move with Broadway Donna just beyond the half, and she would advance steadily on the rim, getting to within a length of Dayson at the 1:25 1/5 three-quarters.

In the stretch Broadway Donna and Dayson began to sprint together for the wire, but Broadway Donna put a head in front at the eighth pole, and she would not relinquish the advantage once she got it, eventually winning by half a length over Dayson.  Tight Lines held on for third over a rallying Cufflink Hanover (Andy Miller).

"Jimmy (trainer Jim Campbell) convinced me in the paddock just before the race that she was at the top of her game," said Jules Siegel, whose Fashion Farms LLC. bred and own the winner.  "We've tried to race against the mares, but there's not enough mares being dropped in, so we had no choice."

Broadway Donna, the Dan Patch Award winner at both two and three, scored her 17th win from 24 career starts, and she has now earned $1,275,994.  The daughter of Donato Hanover was sent off as the 9-5 second choice, and she paid $5.60 to win.

The Graduate Series moves to Mohawk on June 3, followed by another round at Tioga Downs on June 11.  The $250,000 (est.) final is back at the Meadowlands on July 8.