07/07/2015 2:45PM

Meadowlands: Dude's The Man takes his shot in Pace elims

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Doug Paul and Victoria Dickinson hope “Dude” is the man in the Meadowlands Pace.

Paul and Dickinson are among the owners of Dude’s The Man, who was one of the 14 horses entered in Saturday’s Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace eliminations at Meadowlands Racetrack. The 3-year-old male pacer is Dickinson’s first race horse and is named after her Jack Russell terrier, Dude.

“And Dude is the man,” Dickinson said with a laugh, adding about the horse and dog, “They have similar strong personalities.”

Dude’s The Man, with Corey Callahan listed to drive, will race in the first of two $50,000 Meadowlands Pace eliminations Saturday. The top five finishers from each seven-horse field will advance to the final on July 18 at the Big M. Elimination winners will have the opportunity to draw from posts one through six for the final.

“He’s a fast horse,” said Paul, who owns Dude’s The Man with his mother, Rosalind, as M And L of Delaware LLC. “One of these days he’s going to step up and win a big race for us. Hopefully it will be next weekend. He’s got the speed, he’s just got to get the right type of trip.

“We’re real happy with him. We couldn’t be happier.”

The Meadowlands Pace eliminations are part of a Saturday card that also includes a single elimination for the Mistletoe Shalee for 3-year-old female pacers, Reynolds Stakes divisions for 3-year-old male and female trotters, and the $250,000 Graduate Series final for 4-year-old trotters.

First race post time is 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Dude’s The Man prepped for his Meadowlands Pace elim with a second-place finish against older horses Monday night at Vernon Downs, the home base of trainers Howard Okusko Jr. and Jessica Okusko. For the year, the colt has won two of six races – including a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes – and earned $43,501. He has been off the board just once, when he was beaten by only one length in his North America Cup elimination and finished fifth.

“The North America Cup, it was just the luck of the draw,” Paul said. “The way the race set up, he just had a little too far to come, but he was flying at the wire.

“He never knows the end of the mile. He’s always full of pace finishing. He normally runs out of racetrack before he’s tired.”

Dude’s The Man’s connections decided to skip last weekend’s Max C. Hempt Memorial in the hopes of having a fresh horse for the Meadowlands Pace. The Pace elims include four horses – Wiggle It Jiggleit, Wakizashi Hanover, Artspeak and In The Arsenal – who were among the top five finishers in both the North America Cup and Hempt.

Wiggle It Jiggleit won the Hempt in 1:48 2/5 last Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Wakizashi Hanover won the North America Cup in 1:48 on June 20 at Mohawk Racetrack. Those two horses will compete in the second Meadowlands Pace elimination, along with undefeated Iowa invader Roland N Rock.

“We figured we’d skip the Hempt because they fly there anyhow and be fresh coming into the Meadowlands Pace,” Paul said. “Hopefully some of them tired themselves out, although those good ones never seem to tire themselves out, do they?”

Dude’s The Man is a son of American Ideal out of the mare Art’s Risk. His second dam is Dan Patch Award winner Delinquent Account, who is the mother of Dan Patch Award honoree Artiscape. Dude’s The Man was purchased under the name American Risk for $40,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale.

“He was the only yearling in the sale that didn’t have a video,” said Paul, who has seen Dude’s The Man win four of 16 career races and earn $87,788. “I don’t know if that hurt his price or not. But we liked what he looked like and we try to buy families that can produce a good horse.”

Dickinson, who is a real estate agent in Greenville, Del., is a longtime friend of the Paul family. She had previous experience riding horses and over time developed an interest in trotters and pacers.

“It’s been an evolution,” Dickinson said. “It’s been fun to learn. At least we’re starting out on a good note with Dude.”

And now she is looking forward to the chance to advance to the Meadowlands Pace final.

“It’s exciting to have something to watch every week with hope and anticipation,” Dickinson said. “It’s beyond exciting. It can’t come quickly enough.”

Here are the fields for the Meadowlands Pace eliminations:

HN-PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer

1-1-Dealt A Winner-David Miller-Mark Silva
2-2-In The Arsenal-Brian Sears-Kelvin Harrison
3-3-Dude's The Man-Corey Callahan-Jessica Okusko
4-4-Artspeak-Scott Zeron-Tony Alagna
5-5-Hurrikane Ali-Yannick Gingras-John McDermott
6-6-Revenge Shark-Corey Callahan-Tony Alagna
7-7-Pierce Hanover-Brett Miller-Ken Sucee

HN-PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer

1-1-Trading Up-Scott Zeron-Tony Alagna
2-2-Rock N' Roll World-David Miller-Mark Silva
3-3-Roland N Rock-John Campbell-Duane Roland
4-4-Lyons Levi Lewis-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke
5-5-Badiou Hanover-Andy Miller-Julie Miller
6-6-Wakizashi Hanover-Tim Tetrick-Joann Looney-King
7-7-Wiggle It Jiggleit-Montrell Teague-Clyde Francis

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com