04/15/2016 11:03PM

Meadowlands: JL Cruze remains undefeated in 2016

Lisa Photo
JL Cruze is now three-for-three in 2016 after his win on Friday night at The Meadowlands

JL Cruze stayed perfect in three seasonal starts Friday night, taking the featured $25,000 open handicap trot at the Meadowlands by 1 1/2  lengths over Shake It Cerry. Opulent Yankee was third.

A 5-year-old gelded son of Crazed, JL Cruze used a change in tactics from his first two victories of the season and was hustled to the top by driver John Campbell before hitting the quarter in 27 1/5.  Campbell was allowed to rate the Eric Ell trainee through a half in 56 4/5 and three-quarters in 1:25 3/5, leaving plenty of gas in the tank.

At the top of the stretch, Rose Run Parker was a non-threatening presence alongside the eventual winner, but did provide live cover for Shake It Cerry, the lifetime earner of $2.4 million who was making her 2016 debut. Shake It Cerry closed well in a solid try for the Jimmy Takter barn.

JL Cruse, who is pointing toward the May 8 Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff at the Big M, hit the wire in 1:52 2/5 after trotting a final quarter in 26 4/5 and paid $3 to win as the 1-2 favorite.

--press release (Meadowlands)--