05/05/2013 12:17AM

Meadowlands: Modern Family upsets in inaugural Maturity Trot

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Derick Giwner
Modern Family won for the eighth time in 2013 and increased his bankroll to $202k.

There is a sure-fire way to know that the stakes season is officially underway. It’s the time of year when driver Tim Tetrick starts to dominate. The green and gold colors of Tetrick were in force at the Meadowlands on Saturday night and he drove flawlessly, pulling off a minor upset with Modern Family in the inaugural $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity for four-year-old trotters.

Tetrick and a host of other drivers in the field recognized that the rail-starting Guccio, sent off as the 4-5 betting favorite, was not going to be a player in the early stages. No fewer than four horses left from the outside, with Modern Family the first to show, followed by Uncle Peter. Magic Tonight also left and took a seat waiting for Solvato and driver Trond Smedshammer to clear the lead before making his move. In all there were multiple lead changes through the rated :56 opening half with 18-1 shot Magic Tonight in front at that point. Solvato, Uncle Peter and Modern Family were all close behind and the favorite lagged some in fifth.

Driver Dave Miller made the most of his first trip aboard Uncle Peter by moving to the outside heading into the final turn. One of last year’s underachievers, Uncle Peter surged sharply on the outside, battling with Magic Tonight through a comfortable 1:24 2/5 three quarter clocking. Modern Family and Tetrick were more than poised at this juncture, but Uncle Peter was solid, surging past the leader and asserting himself in the sprint to the wire.

Modern Family, a winner in 7 of 10 tries heading into the Maturity, angled wide and valiantly surged past the leader to score in a personal best 1:51 4/5 mile, as a 3-1 proposition.

“He drives like a car and you can do whatever you want with him,” said Tetrick, who thought the son of Cantab Hall proved he belongs with the top trotters. “I think he proved it tonight. He had Guccio on his back and he couldn’t keep up with him.”

Uncle Peter easily held second while his stablemate Guccio rallied between horses late for the third spot, some five and a half-lengths behind the winner.

Daryl Bier, Charles Dombeck and Richard Poillucci, who purchased the stallion at the Meadowlands Winter Mixed Sale in January, have already recouped their investment.

Johny Rock made the chalk players happy in the $39,615 John Simpson Memorial for three-year-old pacing colts. Driver Andy Miller used the give-and-go with stablemate Duel In The Sun after a :27 2/5 opening quarter. The John Butenschoen trainee fought off an intense third quarter bid by Kenzies Beach Boy and then coasted home in a 1:51 1/5 mile. Johny Rock equaled his best career mile in taking his season’s debut.

Johny Rock ($2.60) was a full two-and-a-half-lengths in front of Rocnrolwilneverdie, with Real Rocker completing a sweep by the late New Jersey stallion Rocknroll Hanover.

On the human side, the Meadowlands held their final drawing for a chance to win 1% of the earnings of top 3-year-old pacer Captaintreacherous. Robert Droste was the lucky winner.

Handle was a strong $3,555,247 for the 13-race card.