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Meadowlands: Dial Or Nodial looks for Presidential Final upset
By Jay Bergman
Golden Receiver is the obvious horse to beat in Saturday’s $103,500 final of the Presidential Series at The Meadowlands. The leading aged pacer in training breezed through a pair of preliminaries hardly working up a sweat on his way to what looks like another sweep of the January series at the East Rutherford plant. Trainer Jim Campbell hopes that Golden Receiver’s streak of good luck comes to an end, sooner rather than later.
“He’s been very sharp all fall at Harrah’s Philadelphia and into this meet,” said Campbell, trainer of Dial Or Nodial a contender in Saturday’s final. “I thought he raced great last week. He had to check when that horse broke and he finished strongly.”
Campbell has many reasons to love his seven-year-old son of Western Ideal.
“He’s won over $1.5 million for me, so yeah you could say I have a soft spot for him,” said Campbell.
Needless to say Dial Or Nodial will have his work cut out for him. Despite his impressive credentials, Dial Or Nodial has had the unfortunate label of also-ran when it comes to many of the top races in North America. A win in the Presidential would put him in elite company.
Campbell believes Dial Or Nodial is as good now as he’s ever been.
“He got sick on me in September and we missed some time, but since he’s come back he’s been consistently good,” said Campbell.
Thus far in 2013 that consistency has not led to a victory but to some challenging overland trips that have thus far kept him from the winner’s circle.
Is Dial Or Nodial just a one-run horse?
“I think you can do anything you want with him. He can leave and he can close. It depends on how the race breaks,” said Campbell.
As far as racing action is concerned, Campbell couldn’t hide his feelings for what he’d like to see happen this week.
“He (Golden Receiver) has been allowed to walk around the track both weeks. Sure, I’d like to see him get challenged. But he’s a great horse and he can race either way too,” Campbell said about the biggest obstacle to Dial or Nodial being victorious on Saturday.
Dial Or Nodial and Campbell go way back together. He debuted in July of 2008 at The Meadowlands with a victory as a two-year-old in a New Jersey Sire Stakes race. Later that year he was a solid third to champion Well Said in the Breeders Crown at the Big M.
In 2010 as a four-year-old, Dial Or Nodial enjoyed his signature win as an aged-pacer, capturing the Allerage Farms final at The Red Mile in 1:49 2/5. In that race he defeated Foiled Again and Bettor Sweet.
Over the last two years Dial Or Nodial has enjoyed strong campaigns primarily racing in Pennsylvania, also the location of owner Jules Siegel’s Fashion Farms LLC.
Just nine horses were dropped in the box for the $103,500 Presidential final, race 11 on the 13-race Meadowlands Saturday program (post 7:15 p.m.). Dial Or Nodial landed post two and will be driven by regular pilot Dave Miller. Golden Receiver starts from post seven with Tim Tetrick in tow.
Versado, a first round winner for trainer Nick Surick, drew post five with Andy Miller in the bike. Versado has already raced four times in 2013 winning on two occasions.
Trainer Ron Burke has two longshots in the final. Veteran Fred And Ginger landed the pole position and will have the services of Yannick Gingras in the bike. Fred And Ginger was a solid second to Golden Receiver in the first leg of the Presidential. Meirs Hanover (Joe Bongiorno), the other Burke-trained entrant, landed post eight.
For those interested in rooting for horses from down under there are three entries with New Zealand roots in the field. Trainer Peter Tritton’s tandem of Second Wind N (Eric Carlson, post three) and Malak Uswaad N (Ron Pierce, post four) will form a strong uncoupled entry. Trainer Darran Cassar’s Mr. Hasani N finally received a little post position luck drawing post six for the final. The impressive import closed strongly despite lagging cover in last week’s second round action, following a third-place finish in the first leg. Driver Corey Callahan has been making quite a name for himself this winter at the Meadowlands. He’ll steer Mr. Hasani N.
Rounding out the field of nine is Modern Legend (John Campbell, post nine) a runner-up behind Golden Receiver in second round action.
Go!!! "Golden Receiver"!!! From your friends at The Hairy Angel Foundation in Sedona... We'll be watching you tomorrow night...
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