07/14/2016 10:28AM

Meadowlands: Checkmate Time has the right moves in Sire Stakes Final

Derick Giwner
Checkmate Time is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the New Jersey Sire Stakes Final for trotting fillies.

Sometimes history does repeat itself. In 2013 owner Roy Dobbins and trainer Dennis Laterza brought Hill I Am to the Meadowlands to compete in New Jersey Sire Stakes action. He swept the three-round series including the $100,000 final. Three years later the tandem is back with another talented youngster looking for the Sire Stakes triple on Friday evening.

Checkmate Time, a three-quarter sister to Hill I Am, is by Muscle Hill out of the mare Miss Checkmate. She is one of many homebreds brought up by the Dobbins in Alabama and shipped north to Laterza to begin her racing career.

From the word go Checkmate Time impressed in her baby races by finishing with a sprinters speed. She followed those fine efforts up with a breathtaking 26 1/5 final quarter to win her debut in 1:58 1/5 for driver Scott Zeron.

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“I love her,” said Zeron. “There is only one downside to her, she is eligible to absolutely nothing this year. So this will be her last dance most likely.

“In those three qualifiers, she gave me the notion that if I let her leave a litte bit that she would be gone and be a runaway, so I kept taking her off the gate,” he continued. “In her first pari-mutuel race, it was a short field with only six, so I felt wherever I got away I would be able to get them in the end. She was actually very sensible that day and I talked to the trainer last night who said, ‘If you land on front, she is actually not grabby on the front.’”

With that information in his head and having to deal with post nine, Zeron elected to test the waters with Checkmate Time in her second career start. They took air for nearly the entire opening half of the race before gaining control for a brief moment. Waffle Cone then uncorked a big move to the front to seat Checkmate Time in the pocket. As the pair opened up a sizable lead on the field, Checkmate Time proved resolute and refused to lose.

Having displayed guts and versatility in her first two starts, Checkmate Time seems likely to go off as the favorite leaving from post six. She will again meet up with Waffle Cone from post two, who has new driver Tim Tetrick in the bike this week because Yannick Gingras elected to drive Ariana G for trainer Jimmy Takter.

“I’m pretty confident because I like her attitude right now and her gait is pretty great, so I’m confident that she won’t make a mistake that way. It is just going to be a matter of how good Jimmy’s filly is (Ariana G),” summed up Zeron about his chances.

The 10-horse Final is slated as race six on a 14-race card that includes three other $100,000 Sire Stakes.

Every Way Out seems destined for 1-9 odds come post time after two dominating wins. The 2-year-old pacing colt moves into the Dylan Davis barn after a private purchase by Howard Taylor, Abe Basen, Edwin Gold and Thomas Lazzaro.

The rookie colt trot is one of the more competitive Finals on the program. New Jersey Viking will try to parlay an impressive 1:55 4/5 opening round win into a big check in the Final for driver/trainer Ake Svanstedt. Fly On and Hammer Time also won Sire Stakes legs.

The statebred action wraps up with 2-year-old filly pacers in race 11. Livinginthedream is perfect in two New Jersey starts and tries for the clean sweep starting from post one for driver Marcus Miller and trainer Erv Miller.

Post time on Friday is 7:15 p.m.