05/15/2015 10:42PM

Meadowlands: Mission Brief cruises in 2015 debut

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Mission Brief has won 10 of 14 career races.

Mission Brief returned to the races where we expect to see her, in the winner's circle.  The fastest 2-year-old trotter of all time made short work of her Sire Stakes competition in the lone $25,000 division for the filly trotters, winning in 1:53 4/5.

The World Champion took off the speed early in the mile, but made a controlled move to the lead and cleared before the half-mile pole through fractions of 27 3/5 and 56 2/5.  She led the field past three quarters in 1:25 3/5 and turned for home with a two length lead.  Mission Brief drifted a touch in the stretch, but finished the mile well within herself while never being asked by driver Yannick Gingras.

It is worth noting that shortly after the finish, Mission Brief appeared to bobble and went off-stride, but she remained on-stride until the tele-timer stopped.

Gingras was pleased with her effort.  “She had a ton of trot,” said Gingras.  “She went in 1:53 4/5 and it was a walk in the park for her.  We still have some work to do before the second Saturday in August but she is on the right track.”

Mission Brief became the fastest 2-year-old trotter in history when she romped to a 1:50 3/5 performance at The Red Mile last year.  She is conditioned by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J & T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi.  With the victory, Mission Brief’s career earnings surpassed $600,000.

On the colt side of the Sire Stakes action, Guess Whos Back put forth a performance worthy of his name, with a dominant 1:54 score in the first of two New Jersey Sire Stakes divisions for the 3-year-old trotting colts.

Sent off as the slight favorite over Canepa Hanover (both were 4/5), Guess Whos Back settled off the speed through the first quarter of a mile before making a power move to the lead down the backstretch for Brian Sears.  The Muscles Yankee colt would clear the top with ease, hitting the half-mile in just 58 1/5.  He would face no pressure from that point of the mile all the way to the wire, sailing past three-quarters in 1:27 before leveling out in the stretch and drawing clear to a convincing 1:54 triumph.

As a 2-year-old, Guess Whos Back won the New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship at The Meadowlands en route to earning $92,350 for trainer Nikolas Drennan.  Drennan expressed delight with how his Hambletonian hopeful performed.

“Overall I was very happy with him,” said Drennan.  “It looked like he got a little steppy on the first turn, so we may make a few small changes going forward.  But I was happy with him.”

Guess Whos Back sent his earnings past $100,000 with the winner's share of $20,000 purse.  He is owned by Davino, Shackman, T L P Stable and J&T Silva Stables.

The other division for the sophomore colts pitted an intriguing matchup of Muscle Diamond and French Laundry.  That pair finished second and third respectively in the Breeders Crown last year.  Muscle Diamond was sent off as the 4/5 favorite with French Laundry the 3/2 second choice.  The latter established the lead early on and took the Sire Stakes field through fractions of 28, 57 3/5 and 1:26 2/5.  Muscle Diamond sat along the pylons in third, tracking the early speed and was guided off the pylons in the stretch and showed dramatic acceleration.  However, nearing the wire, Muscle Diamond lost his momentum while getting a little steppy, seemingly because he was trotting so fast in the stretch, and French Laundry was able to hold on for the win in 1:53 1/5.  Both colts were very impressive in their 3-year-old debuts.

French Laundry added to his lifetime earnings, which now stand at $323,119 for Jimmy Takter.  Brett Miller drove the talented colt for Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding Al Libfield and Marvin Katz.

Saturday night features the $183,650 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, where Bee A Magician will attempt to become the first mare in the 17-year history of the race to emerge victorious.  Also on the program is New Jersey Sire Stakes action for the 3-year-old pacers, both colts and fillies.  Last year’s 2-year-old pacing champion Artspeak will headline one of two divisions for the colts and geldings.  There is a $50,000 TVG Invitational on the program as well.  Post time for the Saturday program is 7:15 P.M.

-edited release (Meadowlands)