07/17/2011 10:39AM

Meadowlands Pace: Roll With Joe prevails by a neck


For the third time in five years, driver Ron Pierce crossed the wire first in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace on Saturday night.

Pierce guided Roll With Joe to a neck victory over the favored Big Jim in a swift 1:48.2.

Pierce hustled Roll With Joe to the front past the opening quarter in 26.20 seconds. He then allowed Custard The Dragon to assume command before a 53-second half while he bided his time in the pocket. In typical aggressive Pierce piloting fashion, he pulled the pocket before the third call (1:21) and Roll With Joe grabbed a quick lead at the head of the lane. Roll With Joe was put to an all-out drive and he dug in over the fast charging Big Jim.

“I had to work a little bit to get to the top,” said Pierce.” As soon as I [made the top] my horse relaxed really nice.

“The longer [Roll With Joe] sat there [in the pocket] the braver he got,” Pierce said. “I knew I had [Custard The Dragon] when I tipped off his back. I was a little concerned about the horses in the back catching me, but he’s a special horse.”

Pierce picked up the drive after the post-position draw when Brian Sears elected to pilot the George Teague Jr-trained Feel Like A Fool.

“I’m a lucky guy; my whole driving career as far as snagging the good ones,” said Pierce on his good fortune.

For trainer Ed Hart, who trained Pirouette Hanover to victory in a $175,000 New Jersey Sire stakes final earlier in the card, the win was like a dream come true.

“I’m in a state of shock,” said Hart. ”I’ve been here a long time; to win this race is just great.”

Roll With Joe paid $12.60 to win for owners Blue Chip Bloodstock, Stephen Demeter, Not To Worry Stable, and Winbak Farm. He is eligible to the $650,000 Delvin Miller Adios (eliminations on July 23) at the Meadows but may skip that spot and aim for the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine on Aug.  21 at Harrah’s Chester.

See You At Peelers wins 20th in row

Earlier on the Meadowlands card, See You At Peelers overcame two scares to keep her streak of perfection alive at 20 career-starting wins.

See You At Peelers made her usual move to the front and was cruising along around the final turn when Krispy Apple came charging at her and put a neck in front. Fortunately for See You At Peelers, Krispy Apple made a right turn into the stretch and lost her momentum. Through the stretch, Idyllic took a run at Peelers and was gaining, but she was spooked by the whip and made a brief break, which cost her the top spot.

“I was chasing her [whipping] pretty good, but she was able to hold on,” said driver Brian Sears. “I don’t think [Idyllic] was going to get to her.”

The undefeated See You At Peelers, trained by Hall of Fame candidate Jimmy Takter, is scheduled to make her next appearance at Yonkers Raceway in a New York Sire Stakes event.