08/04/2015 10:43AM

Meadowlands: Doherty victory will propel Broadway Donna to stardom

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Broadway Donna is undefeated in five career starts.

The Merrie Annabelle is the race of champions. Now known as the Jim Doherty Memorial, the series has produced the 2-year-old filly trotting champion in each of the last four and six of the previous seven years. The list includes Hambletonian starter Mission Brief and reigning Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry among the elite.

Looking to join the elite group is the undefeated Broadway Donna. Perfect in five career starts, she will leave from post three in the $389,450 final on Hambletonian Day (Aug. 8) at the Meadowlands.

Coming off an ultra-impressive 3-1/2 length win in her Doherty elimination and featuring a total margin of victory north of 23 lengths in her five career wins, Broadway Donna seems highly likely to be one of the heaviest favorite on Saturday at the Meadowlands. Her dominance was embellished by the 1:53 3/5 winning clocking in her Doherty elim victory, placing her as the fastest rookie trotter in the sport this year regardless of sex.

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“She’s been racing unbelievably well. If she stays healthy and sound I think she’ll be one of the better ones this year,” said regular driver David Miller, clearly not wanting to jinx his horse with thoughts of grandeur.

“As soon as I start talking her up . . . I’ll let her do the talking for me,” he continued.

Broadway Donna, a homebred from owner Fashion Farms LLC, is the result of a mating of royalty. Sire Donato Hanover was the 2007 Horse of the Year and a career earner of $2,998,777. Her dam, Broadway Schooner, was 3-year-old Filly Trotter of the Year in 2007 and by the undefeated 2002 rookie trotting champion Broadway Hall.

Clearly the Jim Campbell-trained Broadway Donna is more advanced than her competition, but perhaps her best quality is composure on the track.

“She’s really sensible,” said Miller, who thinks she can win any way at this point. “We’ve been able to get the lead really easy, so we’ve been putting her there, but she is really handy.”

With the other two Doherty elimination winners—Womans Will and Kathy Parker—posting winning times at least two seconds slower than Broadway Donna, it is hard to identify her main challenger for Saturday. As winners a week ago, the two were afforded desirable inside posts, two and four, respectively.

Celebrity Eventsy chased Broadway Donna home to no avail in their elimination and could be in the same situation again as an early speed candidate from post one. Miss Tezsla (post five) and Lindy’s On Fire (post ten) both charged home in their respective elims, always a positive sign for future success. Sunset Glider (post six), who was hopelessly trapped in the pocket behind Kathy Parker, is another likely to find some support behind the heavily-favored Broadway Donna.

The Jim Doherty is scheduled as race two on a 15-race stake extravaganza program at the Meadowlands. Post time is high noon.