05/20/2017 10:25AM

Meadowlands: Harris takes aim at the Graduate with Taco Tuesday


Taco Tuesday steps up in class on Saturday night but his new trainer Andrew Harris believes the 4-year-old gelding is ready for the $75,000 Graduate Series opening leg at The Meadowlands.

“He’s trained very well,” said Harris of one of his most recent acquisitions.

You have to think that Harris hopes this is the last stop for Taco Tuesday, a son of Cantab Hall that debuted for Harris on May 6 with an impressive victory at Yonkers in the $55,000 Open Handicap.

“I was very fortunate to get him,” said Harris.

Harris has had a big year and much of that has to do with the fact that owners from across North America have sought him out to send horses to the east coast. He’s already enjoyed a tremendous ride with Cousin Mary in 2017. That 4-year-old pacing mare earned under $20,000 during her sophomore season but has 11 wins this year and $135,000 banked for Harris. “She’s been invited to the Betsy Ross (Harrah’s Philadelphia on May 28).”

Taco Tuesday is a big and powerful horse that keeps getting better and Harris thinks the bigger track may only enhance his assets.

“I think the best thing about this horse is that he can race any way you like. He’s fine racing from behind and just as good on the front,” said Harris, who watched Taco Tuesday go down the road in 1:54 2/5 from post seven in his last start.

Harris has been known a little more for his success with pacers, but last year found himself in the Hambletonian with Waitlifter K. Ironically that’s one of the nine rivals Taco Tuesday will face on Saturday night.

“Waitlifter K has already shown that he can trot in 1:51. Taco Tuesday still has to prove it but I think he’ll get there eventually,” said Harris.

The Graduate drew an interesting cast including last year’s premier sophomore trotting mare Broadway Donna. The Jim Campbell-trained mare landed post seven after a powerful runner-up performance in his debut last week at The Meadowlands. Broadway Donna, a career $1.2 million winner, has Dave Miller in the bike.

Dayson was a pacesetting fourth in last week’s tune-up but he could be much sharper for trainer Ron Burke given his rail position on Saturday night.

Another Yonkers shipper in the Graduate is Jeff Gregory’s Tight Lines, who swept through the SOA Bonus Trot series and already has five victories and $101,000 banked this year. Tight Lines landed post two.

The Meadowlands management team will be rooting hard for Double L Lindy, one of two from the Ake Svanstedt stable in the Graduate. Double L Lindy is co-owned in a partnership by Jeff Gural’s Little E LLC, along with Jason Settlemoir and RBH Ventures Inc. Double L Lindy won his 4-year-old debut at Yonkers by open lengths against weaker, but it should be noted that he was a solid third in last year’s Breeders Crown final.

Harris confirmed that Taco Tuesday is likely to see further stakes action in the near term. “He was invited to the Maxie Lee,” Harris said of the $100,000 Invitational event at Harrah’s Philadelphia on May 28.

“I really think he’ll be at his best on the five-eighths mile track,” said Harris.

With 55 horses in his stable Andrew Harris’ numbers continue to swell, but he’s anxious to add more and hopefully find some success in the biggest races. The aforementioned Cousin Mary was a sleeper heading into this season but she’s come a long way. “I don’t think she can go with Lady Shadow but I think she can go with the rest,” said Harris, who was ecstatic how the mare qualified on Tuesday at Philly.

As of now there is no Waitlifter K in the stable, so a Hambletonian appearance may not happen for Harris, but he’s holding out hope. “Usually it’s this time of the year that I start getting calls,” Harris said.

For now there are a dozen 2-year-olds getting closer to their racing debuts that need Harris’ attention. Then there’s Taco Tuesday, a horse that has attracted plenty of attention this year and steps out on the big stage Saturday with a chance to solidify his position in a division that to date appears wide open.