05/05/2012 1:30PM

Meadowlands: Qualifying Insider for May 5, 2012

Ken Weingartner
American Jewel won her first qualifier of 2012.

Under overcast skies 12 qualifiers were contested at New Meadowlands. Some of the top horses from 2011 were making their first appearances of the year, while others put in their final preps before pari-mutuel action.

Let’s take a race by race look at the action (skipping the races without a standout).

Race 1 – DELANO broke in each of his qualifiers this year and was once again a bit funky behind the gate. That said, he brushed nicely to the lead and posted a solid mile to win in 1:54 4/5.

Race 3 – Hambletonian hopeful ROYAL SHYSTER saved ground early before coming to the rim around the final turn. He was off cover by three quarters and finished up an even third in 1:56 3/5. It is worth noting that George Brennan showed up to drive; possibly meaning he will retain the drive throughout the year as he did win last year’s Hambo champion Broad Bahn, also trained by Noel Daley.

Race 4 – While SUPERSTAR HANOVER got the job done in 1:57 4/5, BLUFF was the most interesting filly out of the race. The Trond Smedshammer trainee saved ground the entire mile and was never allowed to stretch her legs as she remained under a hold while closely following another foe through the stretch.

Race 6 – ON THE BRIGHT SIDE followed lackluster cover, swung wide at three quarters and finished with good trot in a professional effort. The 3-year-old filly looks ready to start her year.

Race 7 – A handful of top trotters were behind the gate as 4-year-old mare JEZZY brushed to the front and dug in nicely over $1,129,885 career earner DEJARMBRO. Older gelding LANSON failed to fire on the rim and $859,652 lifetime earner AUTUMN ESCAPADE looked a bit dull and likely needs another mile. CEDAR DOVE was away last and hugged the cones until the three quarter call. She finished up willingly and was better than her charted line looks.

Race 8 – Older pacing star WE WILL SEE waited patiently in the pocket until the stretch and stormed home a very easy winner. Driver Ron Pierce merely showed him the whip and the 5-year-old responded very nicely. It was the first qualifier of the year for the winner of $2,115,354.

“I thought he went great,” trainer Sam DePinto said. “He was well within himself and Ronnie was real happy with him; said everything was good. I’m going to come back next week and give him another qualifier and then we’ll enter him.

“This was a perfect qualifier for what he’s done coming into this. I trained him at the farm in (1):56, so today in (1):52 didn’t hurt him. It was a nice little tightener; a little at a time.”

Race 9 – After a spectacular 2-year-old campaign, now sophomore standout filly AMERICAN JEWEL made her first qualifier of the year. The Jimmy Takter trainee pulled at the three-eighths and brushed to the front at the second call in a pedestrian 58 3/5 seconds. From there she cruised along on the engine and was never asked by driver Tim Tetrick.

“It was a very good qualifier for her first time,” said trainer Jimmy Takter, smiling widely, about American Jewel’s effort. “It was great. We had an open bridle and she was looking around a little bit, but she was very good.

“I’ll probably qualifier her one more time next Saturday. Then she’s got a race up in Vernon. But we’ll see what happens.”

Race 10 – Metro Pace winner SIMPLY BUSINESS was the standout 3-year-old colt on paper in this race. He went to the front, yielded and finished up steadily in 1:53 while fourth at the wire. The standout effort was posted by PET ROCK. The son of Rocknroll Hanover came out in the pocket before brushing to the front before the half. He then yielded to another foe and waited for the stretch. Once clear the colt finished up with good pace under slight urging in 1:52 1/5, the fastest mile of the morning. It is also worth noting that HURRIKANE KINGCOLE tucked early and made a nice move to the lead only to give way in the late stages while very hard to steer.

Race 11 – The royally bred TIME TO ROLL (Rocknroll Hanover-Kikikatie) saved ground early and finished up sharply late in a strong 1:52 2/5 during his first trip to the track in 2012. In victory he defeated fellow 3-year-old prospect MAJOR BOMBAY, who made two moves and fell to defeat by only a neck. Another youngster with ability, I FOUGHT DALAW pulled late in the mile and was a bit flat in the final stages.

(quotes courtesy Ken Weingartner)