01/02/2014 11:03AM

Meadowlands: Fraley sends out nine starters on Saturday card

Sean Hamrock
P.J. Fraley's Fat Man's Alley is the co-track record holder at Yonkers Raceway with a 1:50 2/5 mile.

Trainer P.J. Fraley ended the 2013 racing season at the Meadowlands with a victory and he hopes to get 2014 started on the right foot this Saturday night. Fraley will send out a total of nine pacers on the 13-race program (first post 7:15 p.m.) and the trainer thinks his charges will be competitive in most of the races.

Fittingly, Fraley’s stock will commence in the first race with George Jettison landing the pole position in a handicap for B-1/A-2 company.

“I really like that horse,” said Fraley, “I think he can step up and compete at this level.” The trainer thought that his horse had to rough it without cover this past Saturday and may be better suited should cover come his way.

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Race three finds Victorydaze Wilwin in a good spot from post two and the $20,000 level seems a good fit. “I think he’s in a very good spot,” said Fraley. “I think the big track will definitely help him.”

Of Mississippi Hippy, Fraley’s entrant in the fifth race, a B-2 event, the trainer seemed to be hedging a little bit. “He’s a decent little horse,” said Fraley. “I think the draw will help.”

The sixth race is the $30,000 A-1/FFA Handicap and Fraley’s Fat Mans Alley looks to improve from his second place finish a week ago.

“He’s always right there,” said Fraley of the now six-year-old that earned in excess of $200,000 in 2013. “He doesn’t have a high burst of speed but he can carry his speed a long way.” It’s that staying power that has helped Fat Mans Alley race consistently at a high level whether at Yonkers or the big tracks.

Late Night Joke, Fraley’s last winner in 2013, returns in the evening’s seventh race from post five. It’s a race that had to be pieced together by racing secretary Peter Koch and on first blush may have been a little tougher for Late Night Joke than his victory at the C-1 level last week.

“I think he’s just as good as any,” said Fraley about Late Night Joke in the race primarily for four-year-old non-winners of $75,000 lifetime. His horse is one of two entered as an optional $50,000 claimer.

“We always knew he had talent. He’s a little bit of a nervous horse and he’s made some mistakes. You have to watch him behind the gate. I hope the race sets up for him,” said Fraley, who was most impressed at how Late Night Joke came from ninth at the half to sweep the field last week in a 1:51 mile.

Fraley seemed enthusiastic about Fox Valley Action, his entrant in the ninth race C-1 pace. “He raced very well last time from a difficult spot,” said Fraley.

Fox Valley Action drew post 10 in his last start and finished a solid fifth closing from the back of the pack. He’ll start from post two on Saturday and that is one of the reasons his trainer is high on his chances.

Cee Pee Panic drew post five in the tenth race of the night. Fraley indicated that the horse had missed a week due to racing being cancelled and that could make a difference on Saturday.

Delco Rocknroll moves into a B-1/A-2 Handicap after racing at the $50,000 claiming level last week but surprisingly his trainer thinks he’ll be fine at that level. “Ronnie (driver Pierce) kind of got lost with him on the final turn last week going outside instead of inside. It’s a little tougher race on Saturday but I think he’ll be all right,” said Fraley.

As for Sky Desperado, the last of his nine horses, the trainer felt “He might need a run.” The horse last raced at Yonkers two weeks back and finished well from off the pace.

Fraley is currently conditioning 38 horses and says that another 10 will be coming back soon after being turned out. The trainer has reached national prominence over the last two years with his stable having a dramatic impact at Yonkers as well as The Meadowlands and Harrah’s Philadelphia. His stable star, the veteran pacing mare Anndrovette, has earned $1.25 million over the last two campaigns.

“We had a super year,” said Fraley. “I have to say that I’m grateful to have an owner (Jeffrey Bamond) who buys great horses and gives you anything you need to succeed.

Bamond’s backing has allowed the Fraley stable to earn $3.7 million in 2012 and follow it up with a $4.1 million campaign last year. Ironically the stable started just one less horse in 2013 than in 2012.