08/18/2012 9:07AM

Meadowlands: Golden Receiver closes out meet with Haughton Memorial victory

Lisa Photo
Golden Receiver scored his 48th, and richest, win in Friday's Haughton Memorial.

It was sort of fitting that the horse that started the season on top at the Meadowlands ended the season on top. The year began with Golden Receiver dominating in the Presidential Series in January. It ended with him at the top of his game on closing night, capturing the $431,400 William Haughton Memorial on Friday.

Golden Receiver paced faster in January (1:48) than he did in winning the Haughton (1:48 2/5), which may say more about his incredible season than anything else. With Andy Miller in the sulky, Golden Receiver took control from the outset and never looked back, scoring convincingly in wire-to-wire fashion. It marked the 12th win of the season for the Mark Harder trained 7-year-old. It was also the 48th victory of his brilliant career and the richest one for owners Stable 45, Taylor, Springer and Simmonds.

With the scratching of both Alexie Mattosie and Meirs Hanover, the field was reduced to but six horses. We Will See made a determined bid from post 6 at the start to get the lead, but Andy Miller with Golden Receiver wanted no part of that. The battle ensued with Pierce looking and finally getting a spot for his We Will See to tuck in the pocket. Foiled Again with Yannick Gingras tried desperately to preserve the pocket but couldn’t match the quicker rivals speeding to the :25 4/5 opening quarter.

Golden Receiver calmly cut the half in :54 and much like he had done two weeks earlier in the U.S. Pacing Championship, put the pedal down for the third quarter. Gingras, hoping to push Foiled Again over the $4 million plateau in career earnings, went on the offensive past the half and attempted to reach the winner. That move saw the two come on even terms briefly on the final turn. But by the head of the stretch Foiled Again couldn’t stay with Golden Receiver and even We Will See, who found room in early stretch was no match while finishing second. Aracache Hanover closed for third with Foiled Again fading to fifth.

* The closing night at the Meadowlands included a stakes-filled undercard. Rebeka Bayama proved her last two races at the Meadowlands were no flukes as she rolled past Drop The Ball in the deep stretch to take the $218,850 Golden Girls in a 1:49 mile. Sylvain Filion was in the bike and gave a flawless steer in a race marred somewhat by the early break of Lady Liberty champion Put On A Show. Ginger And Fred rounded out the top three finishers.

* Maven regained winning form in the $191,500 Moni Maker Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Her 1:52 3/5 mile was a stakes record for driver Yannick Gingras and owner W.J. Donovan. Gingras, who clinched the driving title on the final night of action, elected to stay off the pace early in the Moni Maker. He sent Maven strongly down the backstretch to displace the hard-used Superstar Hanover on the front end. The daughter of Glidemaster sprinted her final quarter in :27 3/5 distancing herself from Superstar Hanover, who was outkicked on the wire by Valdonna for the place spot.

The Moni Maker saw Win Missy B, the runner-up in the Hambletonian Oaks two weeks ago, break stride at the start and lose all chance. It was just the second break in 23 lifetime starts for Win Missy B. The first came in her career debut as a freshman.

* Four $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes finals were contested with Corky capturing the two-year-old trotting colt division in 1:57 3/5. The son of Muscles Yankee has finished first or second in all seven career starts. Jimmy Takter trained and Dave Miller drove the winner.

It’s been the summer of Toscano, Tetrick and owner Richard Gutnick and on Friday it continued when Southwind Cocoa, a $6,000 yearling purchase, took home the $75,000 first prize in the Sire Stakes final for 2-year-old trotting fillies. Again it was Tetrick guiding the daughter of Chocolatier behind live cover third over and narrowly outkicking Time To Kill in a 1:55 3/5 mile. The brown filly won for just the second time in six lifetime starts.

On the pacing side, Authorize exhibited a powerful sub :26 second final quarter in overtaking Sweetheart champion Jerseylicious late in the New Jersey Sire Stakes final for 2-year-old fillies. Jerseylicious used two moves early and cut a pedestrian :58 opening half. Her driver Corey Callahan expertly picked up the pace and tried to outsprint the field into the stretch. Yet late in the payoff lane, driver Brian Sears got Authorize energized and the Western Ideal-sired homebred took off to score in 1:52 3/5. Tony Alagna trains the winner.

Tim Tetrick, who lost the driving title on the night to Gingras, had his moment to shine in the New Jersey 2-year-old pacing colt championship behind Johnny Rock. With rival Gingras on the front end with favored Rockin Amadeus, Tetrick sent Johnny Rock blasting past the half and overpowered the chalk before the three-quarters. Johnny Rock paced off in 1:51 1/5, a career best, as Rocknmyjeans and Wake Up Peter closed alertly for second and third spots. John Butenschoen trains the son of Rocknroll Hanover, who won for the fourth time this season.

* Cedar Dove closed out the stakes action with an easy 1:52 3/5 mile in the $40,000 Miss Versatility leg for aged trotting mares. Ron Pierce drove the mare for trainer Noel Daley.