05/13/2016 9:46PM

Meadowlands: Pinkman finishes second in season debut

Lisa Photo
Wings Of Royalty rallied in the lane to get up over Pinkman in the featured trot on Friday at the Meadowlands

Pinkman, last year's Trotter of the Year and Hambletonian champion, made his first start of 2016 on Friday night at the Meadowlands, and he would finish second by a nose to a rallying Wings Of Royalty after cutting the mile.

Driven by Yannick Gingras for trainer Jimmy Takter, Pinkman left out from post four and worked around Possessed Fashion (Dave Miller) to grab the front before the 27 2/5 opening quarter.  Pinkman continued to lead to the 55 4/5 half, but Bourbon Bay (Corey Callahan), who was keen in the three-hole, was already first-over and at Pinkman's flank.

Pinkman shook away from Possessed Fashion and Bourbon Bay past the 1:23 4/5 three-quarters, but drifted out just a touch early in the lane.  Meanwhile, Wings Of Royalty (Tim Tetrick), who was third back on the rail at three-quarters and had three lengths to make up on the pace-setter, angled out with trot inside the final eighth.

Gingras urged Pinkman to try and get him home first, but Wings Of Royalty, behind a 27 2/5 final kicker, was up just in time to nail him by a nose on the wire in 1:51 4/5.  Possessed Fashion was third, just over two lengths behind the top two finishers.

Wings Of Royalty is a homebred for Raymond Campbell Jr. of Massachusetts and is trained by George Ducharme.  It was the 12th win of the career for Wings Of Royalty, who raced in the Zweig (fourth) and Hambletonian (tenth) last year, and has earned over $400,000.  The 4-year-old son of RC Royalty was also second in the New York Sire Stakes final.

As for Pinkman, it was only the ninth defeat of his career from 26 starts.  The double millionaire gelding by Explosive Matter is expected to start in the Graduate Series next week at the Meadowlands.