06/02/2017 7:11AM

Meadowlands: Favorites could rule in NJ Sire Stakes Finals

Lisa Photo
Ariana G was an impressive 1:52 2/5 winner in her 2017 debut.

The New Jersey Sire Stakes marches into The Meadowlands on Friday night with a parade of chalk lined up in four $100,000 Finals for 3-year-olds. Of the quartet of expected odds-on favorites, Ariana G leads the way in just her second start of 2017.

Coming off a Dan Patch championship season where she won nine of 11 starts as a 2-year-old and captured the Breeders Crown final for trotting fillies in her age group, Ariana G took nearly six months off before qualifying on April 29. The daughter of Muscle Hill-Cantab It All would finish a fast closing second that day and followed it up with a six-plus length qualifying win and a near eight length score in round one of the Sire Stakes back on May 19.

In her Sire Stakes score, Ariana G stopped the timer in 1:52 2/5, which certainly impressed regular driver Yannick Gingras.

“She couldn’t have been any better in her first start,” said Gingras, who placed his confidence level for a win at “very, very high”.

“I think she is definitely faster after going 1:52 like it was a walk in the park, but other than that she’s a very similar filly,” continued Gingras when asked about her improvement over the winter.

Ariana G, trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Marvin katz and Al Libfeld, starts from post five in a 10-horse field that includes fellow Sire Stakes division winners in previous weeks, Glitzey Gal and Ice Attraction

Prior to the fifth race co-feature with Ariana G, the pacing colts will do battle in race two. Every Way Out was installed as the 1-5 morning line favorite versus five foes he has soundly defeated over the last two weeks. Tim Tetrick will drive from post two.

The role of favoritism will swing to Colorful Jasmine in the fourth race Final for pacing fillies. Trained by Tom Cancelliere, Colorful Jasmine is one of just five foals from Philos Hanover an earner of $523,246 during his career. Corey Callahan will steer the filly from post one.

Wrapping up the four Finals in race eight is a nice match-up between What The Hill and Long Tom in the trotting colt division. What The Hill (post 2), who earned north of $315,000 in 2016, has won both of his NJSS races and all three of his starts this year. Long Tom (post 1) had some issues as a freshman but was an impressive 1:52 1/5 winner in his only start of 2017, going one-fifth faster than rival What The Hill on May 19 in separate races. Tim Tetrick will drive Marcus Melander trainee Long Tom while David Miller gets the call behind the Ron Burke-trained What The Hill.

Post time for the 11-race Friday night card at The Meadowlands is 7:15 p.m.