06/18/2016 2:19PM

Meadowlands: Miller, Toscano freshmen impress

Chris Tully
Walner, from the first crop of Chapter Seven, was one of Linda Toscano's winners this morning

It’s come to that time of year when the prospects must be separated from the suspects, and it’s safe to say we saw some of the coming season’s new stars during 2-year-old qualifiers Saturday morning at the Meadowlands. Trainers Julie Miller and Linda Toscano both had a big day and must be excited about their chances for the summer stakes.

Making a strong impression was The Chapter Seven-Random Destiny colt Walner, who went a powerful mile for driver Tim Tetrick in the seventh race. He sustained a long uncovered grind from as far as nine lengths back at the 1:01 2/5 half, then tracked down the leaders with an individually-timed 26 3/5 close to the 1:58 3/5 win.  President Lindy (Andy Miller) was valiant in defeat, fighting right to the wire for the place, while Affair Of Honor (Corey Callahan) took third.  Linda Toscano trains the winner, who is from the first crop of the 2012 Horse of the Year she trained a few years ago. Owner Ken Jacobs plucked him from the Lexington Sale for $90,000 last fall.

The fastest clocking of the day was the 1:54 2/5 mile by the Somebeachsomewhere-New Album colt The Wall, who closed into a 27 flat final quarter to get the win for driver Yannick Gingras in the 15th race of the day. That’s a speed pedigree that trainer Jimmy Takter paid $70,000 to secure at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale last fall for his wife Christina, John Fielding, Brixton Medical and Bud Hatfield.  Chip Walther acquitted himself well for Marcus Miller, holding second after setting all the fractions, and Machiavelli (Dave Miller) was third.

Trotting fillies were up first, and Cool Cates (Yankee Glide-Dance To Market) got her racing career off to an impressive start with a gate-to-wire 1:59 3/5 win for Andy McCarthy. She moved away from her seven rivals late with no urging, using a 28 1/5 final quarter to close the mile. Noel Daley bought Cool Cates for his own account last fall, paying $35,000 in Lexington. That’s All Moni (Gingras) and Spending Spree (Tetrick) made late gains to be second and third.

Feed Your Head (Muscle Hill-Flawless Bluestone) won her debut in 2:00 1/5 for the potent trainer/driver combo of Jimmy Takter and Yannick Gingras. Gingras moved the $70,000 Lexington yearling to the top as they neared the half, then used a 27 4/5 kicker to hold the closing Southwind Primus (Andy Miller) at bay with something left. Eddiction (Marcus Johansson) held for third after some early use, and Speedy Prayer (Scott Zeron) was closing nicely as they went under the wire.

Chezatter (Explosive Matter-Chez Lucie) is looking like a bargain at the $30,000 price trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer paid on behalf of Wanda Polisseni’s Purple Haze Stable at the Standardbred Horse Sale last fall in Harrisburg. She’s now won both outings here at the Meadowlands after she charged through the stretch to win as Smedshammer pleased in 1:58 4/5 with her final quarter in the 28 second range. Dorinda (Marcus Melander) rode a pocket trip and was second, eclipsing mile-cutter Rosesareexplosive late as that one hung around to be third.

Alabama owner Roy Dobbins has a handful of nice-looking homebred trotters, none more impressive than his dark Muscle Hill-Miss Checkmate filly named Checkmate Time. Following a pair of good runner-up finishes with sub 28 final quarters in each, she was a 1:59 2/5 winner today for Scott Zeron, using another powerful close to pass the leaders with a 27 3/5 finish. Trainer Dennis Laterza has prepped her well, and it shows. One Class Act (Ray Schnittker) cut the mile and stayed on for second, while Cersei Hanover (Andy Miller) and Southwind Avanti (Dave Miller) also gained into that fast final panel to be third and fourth, respectively.

Aperfectpak went well today, winning with a 27 2/5 final quarter from a stalking position in 1:59 3/5 for Tim Tetrick. She’s a Yankee Glide from Asixpakfromperfect that Jonas Czernyson paid $130,000 for the account of Swedish business magnate Lennart Ågren at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Tim Tetrick settled her in third as Princess Aurora (Gingras) set fractions of 1:02 1/5 and 1:31 3/5, then when asked, Aperfectpak responded positively to wrestle the lead from the stubborn leader near the wire. Havanna Bar (McCarthy) had good energy late to be third for Elitlopp official Christer Haggstrom.

Andy and Julie Miller sent out Fly On (Muscle Hill-Calchips Finisher) to win the first of the colt trots in 1:59 4/5. Fly On sat in third for Miller as Texican (Smedshammer) and Southwind Segway (Vic Kirby) took turns on the lead through a 1:01 2/5 half.  Fly On then accelerated with a 27 3/5 final panel to score over that pair. The Millers share ownership of the $55,000 Lexington buy with the Arden Homestead Stable and GTY Stable.

The eighth race looked like a mini-Peter Haughton Memorial with lots of movement as Arch Credit, Signal Hill, and then Stealth Hanover set the fractions before Devious Man, by Credit Winner and out of the 26-year-old dam of 2005 Hambo winner Vivid Photo, Miss Garland, was the last to the lead at the end. Driver Andy Miller held position from the rail start through the early scrum, then fanned Devious Man wide in the stretch, brushing through a 27 1/5 end to the 1:58 2/5 mile. Signal Hill (Tetrick) and Stealth Hanover (McCarthy) were together for second as five were strung across the track at the wire. Trainer Julie Miller owns the winner, a $62,000 Harrisburg yearling, in partnership with Natalia Story as a part of Story Inc.

The Chromeo fans were out in force this morning, and the “Chromeo” cheers as he crossed the wire a winner were strangely reminiscent of the “Varenne” chants of a decade and a half ago. The distinctive-looking winner was a $10,000 Donato Hanover-Lady Holiday Harrisburg steal for trainer/driver Ray Schnittker and longtime owners Ted Gewertz and Frank “The Hands” Baldassare, along with Mary Kinsey. Cresurrey (Smedshammer) was second, and Hammer Time closed it up well for third in the 2:00 mile with a 28 3/5 final quarter.

Money Macintosh (Credit Winner-Apple Plush) won the last of the trots.  He traveled well on a loose lead for much of the mile, but he made it interesting by incorporating a few giant steps that required some steadying by Andy Miller as they neared the wire. Despite that blip, he never left the trot and got the 1:59 / 29 win (third winner of the day) for Andy and owner Story Inc., who paid just $28,000 for him at Harrisburg. Mountain Of Love (Zeron) held his ground well after settling in the pocket, while Live For Greatness (Gingras) made a mild late gain to be third.

Next up were pacing fillies, and Idyllic Beach ($100,000 at LSYS) used every foot of the 26 4/5 final quarter to get her nose on the wire before Gorgeous Halie in 1:57 3/5. The winner is the Somebeachsomewhere first foal of the top race mare Idyllic, trained in the Takter barn for Christina Takter, John Fielding, Brixton Medical, and Marvin Katz. Livingthedream and Tori Hanover took minor placings. Yannick Gingras steered the winner.

The freaky fast Robin J (Roll With Joe-Mommy Robin Q) won her second straight with a 26 final quarter for Tim Tetrick this morning.  He held her in fourth early, then she was escorted to the leaders by the cover of Ameraway before squeezing between rivals deep in the stretch to get up. Linda Toscano trains Robin J, a $60,000 Harrisburg yearling for Ken Jacobs. Ameraway (Marcus Miller) was resolute in the drive, narrowly eclipsed by the winner. Caviart Ally (McCarthy) and Queen To Me (Zeron) both had late pace in the 1:56 4/5 mile.

World Apart and She’s Watching may have given us a preview of what’s in store for this group in the coming months as those two fillies threw down in a 26 4/5 “on the board” final quarter of a mile in 1:56. World Apart (Tetrick) came uncovered quickly from well back around the final bend to engage leader She’s So Marvelous at the top of the stretch, while She’s Watching (Gingras) found clearance to the outside from the pocket, and they raced to the wire in tandem. World Apart got the “W” for Linda Toscano and owners South Mountain, Bay’s Stable, and Little E LLC.

Marcus Melander won with Southwind Diablo, an American Ideal-Shady Darling colt he trains for Brixton Medical. The $15,000 Harrisburg bargain led all the way and held off Hurrikane King Kong with a 28 1/5 end to the 1:55 mile in his debut.

The homebred Western Ideal colt Western Joe was a winner today in 1:55, benefiting from a pocket steer from Yannick Gingras. Chris Choate trains the sharp colt, out of Ante Fay, for Anthony Ruggeri. Ocean Colony (Brett Miller) cut the mile and held grimly until the end to be beaten a head. while Point Somewherelse (McCarthy) was third.

After the baby races, Meladys Monet looked about as good as a horse can look in a conditioning 1:53 qualifier for John Campbell under wraps.  Hambletonian prospect Jack Vernon was a gritty second after cutting the mile.

The game's newest world record holder, Mel Mara, got some work in today as well with a 1:49 2/5 exhibition, including a 25 4/5 final quarter for Corey Callahan.

--press release (Meadowlands)--