07/15/2017 8:40PM

Meadowlands: Nike Franco N gets the better of Lady Shadow in Golden Girls

Derick Giwner
Nike Franco N was another winner on the night for Tim Tetrick

Nike Franco N has been chasing Lady Shadow all year, but on Saturday she went past her for the first time to capture the $201,000 Golden Girls for driver Tim Tetrick in 2:01 2/5 for the mile and one eighth distance.

Nike Franco N left with purpose, securing the lead from Call Me Queen Be before the 26 1/5 opening quarter, but Tetrick willingly yielded to Lady Shadow as the field swung onto the backstretch.

The pace was rated well by Lady Shadow and Yannick Gingras as 4-year-old Pure Country moved without cover on the backstretch but failed to menace the pacemaker, allowing Lady Shadow to set rated fractions of 54 2/5 for the half and 1:22 for three-quarters.

Lady Shadow and Nike Franco N were in a match race the final three eighths, with Lady Shadow still holding sway at the 1:48 1/5 mile clocking, but the gallant import Nike Franco N, with Tetrick driving her on, gaining with every stride.  Nike Franco N was able to get the job done late, with Lady Shadow holding for second and early leader Call Me Queen Be in third.

"I was just hoping for a trip behind Lady Shadow and tonight was our night,"said Joann Looney-King, Nike Franco's trainer, in the winner's circle.

"Richard Pollucci (Nike Franco N's owner) picks out all his horses, and he sends them to us. He picked her out," said Looney-King.

For Nike Franco N, the 2-1 second choice in the wagering, it was win number four in nine starts this year. The 7-year-old won by three-quarters of a length.