08/02/2014 2:49PM

Meadowlands: Mission Brief powers away in Merrie Annabelle Final

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Derick Giwner
Mission Brief is all alone at the wire.

Mission Brief equaled the world record with a powerful open-lengths victory in the $352,050 Merrie Annabelle for two-year-old filly trotters at the Meadowlands on Saturday afternoon. The brown filly from the second crop of champion Muscle Hill scored in 1:52 2/5 providing trainer Ron Burke with back-to-back stakes scores on Hambletonian Day.

Yannick Gingras marched Mission Brief to the front from the outset and set fractions of :28, :56 2/5 and 1:24 3/5 before sprinting a final quarter in :27 4/5 for her fourth victory in five lifetime starts.

Owned by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stable, J & T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi, Mission Brief was sent postward as the 1-5 betting favorite.

Jolene Jolene rallied boldly from well back to earn the place spot for driver David Miller completing the Muscle Hill-sired exacta.

Lock Down Lindy, an elimination winner a week earlier for the Merrie Annabelle, was parked most of the way without cover and hung in ruggedly late for the third spot.

Breeder Steve Stewart, who sold the filly for $150,000 at auction in 2013, was elated with the victory. “She’s a lot like her mother (Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena) in size and scope. She’s also like her mother in difficulty to train,” Stewart said.

Driver Gingras added, “She’s scary fast and she had something left, too. I called on her at the top of the stretch and she took off; it’s kind of scary.

“I think a lot of the credit goes to Murph, the guy who takes care of her in New Jersey. It is really rare that you see a 2-year-old filly that comes out to start the season as hot as she was and then turns around and is as relaxed as she was today.”

The 1:52 2/5 mile equaled the mark taken last fall at the Red Mile by Hambletonian Oaks favorite Designed To Be.

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