07/11/2015 8:53PM

Meadowlands: J L Cruze trots fastest mile in Meadowlands history

Derick Giwner
JL Cruze stops the timer in an eye-opening 1:49 4/5.

The battle between J L Cruze and Father Patrick never developed on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. Instead it was a battle against the clock and at the finish it was J L Cruze holding on by a nose to win the $250,000 Graduate final in the fastest clocking in Meadowlands history-1:49 4/5!

Hall of Fame driver John Campbell eased the 3-5 J L Cruze from the starting gate as Gural Hanover marched sharply to the front in a :26 3/5 opening quarter. Campbell and J L Cruze began to move forward off the opening turn but Father Patrick and Yannick Gingras did not join them. J L Cruze cleared the top before the :54 2/5 opening half with Father Patrick lingering on the rim without cover.

As the field swung into the final turn Father Patrick started to advance pulling stablemate Shake It Cerry into the race but never getting within hailing distance of J L Cruze through the 1:22 4/5 three quarters.

In the stretch Father Patrick retreated and J L Cruze opened ground while bearing out. With Campbell urging him along the 4-year-old by Crazed had enough energy to break the beam in the first sub 1:50 clocking for a trotter in the East Rutherford oval’s storied history. Shake It Cerry nearly became the record setter closing stoutly for Jimmy Takter to finish a nose behind with Resolve a solid third in the mile.

“He’s just awesome,” said William Dittmar Jr., who co-owns with Kenneth Wood and Stephen Iaquinta. Eric Ell purchased the horse for $37,000 in last year’s Harrisburg sale and with the victory on Saturday has earned $396,138 with an amazing 15 wins in 17 starts.

Corey Callahan took the lead from the start and had no problems scoring with Suit And Tie in the $62,406 W. N Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings. The Andover Hall-sired colt won for the fourth time in eight starts this year with a mile in 1:54 1/5. Colbert finished second with Total Darkness third.

Two divisions of the Reynolds were contested for 3-year-old trotting fillies. In the first driver Tim Tetrick sent Model Behavior, the 3-5 favorite, down the road breezing to a 1:53 2/5 victory. The daughter of Muscles Yankee won for just the second time this year in the $29,403 division.

Dave Miller came from out of the clouds to track down pacesetter Rules Of The Road with Magic Marker in the second $29,803 Reynolds division. Also by Andover Hall Magic Marker scored in a career best 1:52 2/5 winning for the second time in 2015 in just seven starts.

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