06/19/2015 10:12PM

Meadowlands: JL Cruze, Doo Wop Hanover take Graduates

Lisa Photo
JL Cruze (4) slipped up the cones to best Father Patrick for the second straight start.

JL Cruze proved on Friday night that his first upset of Father Patrick was no fluke. The 4-year-old altered son of Crazed showed poise and heart in capturing the third Graduate leg, a $100,000 event at the Meadowlands, and in the process dealt Father Patrick his second straight defeat over the mile surface.

Father Patrick, saddled with post ten, left the gate as the favorite and positioned himself behind JL Cruze, the second choice. John Campbell rated his horse off the 26 4/5 opening quarter and then sprinted hard in the second quarter for the front with JL Cruze. Yannick Gingras aboard the favorite followed that move and got the front in what appeared a controlled 54 1/5 half mile clocking.

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Once on top, Father Patrick was able to slow the third quarter with Sumatra making a bid. Gingras had JL Cruze in lockdown mode following a 1:22 3/5 three quarters and for most of the stretch it appeared JL Cruze would not see daylight.

But late in the stretch as Father Patrick tried to sprint away, a seam opened along the pylons and JL Cruze was more than able to roll by at the wire clearing Father Patrick by a half-length in a 1:50 4/5 mile.

“I knew he could compete at this level,” said John Campbell following the race. “I had to check him a couple of times but once he got room he just took off.”

The victory was win number 13 in 15 starts as a 4-year-old for JL Cruze, owned by W. Kenneth Wood, W.J. Ditmar Jr. and S. Iaquinta and trained by Eric Ell.

The winner paid $5.80 with Father Patrick settling for second and Resolve finishing third.

Hall of Famer John Campbell swept the Graduates capturing the $100,000 third leg for 4-year-old pacers with Doo Wop Hanover in a world record 2:02 3/5 for the one and one-eighth mile distance. The son of Rocknroll Hanover was parked and moving without cover for a long part of the distance event and came on late to collar stablemate and even-money favorite Rockeyed Optimist in the late stages. All Bets Off garnered third money.

Trainer Steve Elliott’s pair finished one-two with Doo Wop Hanover winning his third consecutive Graduate division. Fractions for the race cut mostly by Rockeyed Optimist were 27 1/5, 53 4/5 1:22 1/5 and a mile timed in 1:49 1/5.

Doo Wop Hanover, owned by Peter blood and Rick Berks, returned $9 for a $2 win ticket.

“He had to rough it, but he relaxed and had no wasted energy,” said John Campbell. “When I called him at the head of the stretch he responded.”

Doo Wop Hanover eclipsed his win total as a 3-year-old scoring for the fifth time in nine season starts and pushing his seasonal earnings to $134,020.