05/06/2017 9:00PM

Meadowlands: Sintra, Check Six draw first blood in Graduate Series

Lisa Photo
Sintra has won both of his starts so far this year

The Graduate Series for 4-year-olds kicked off on Saturday at The Meadowlands, and the Ontario invader Sintra shined in the first division, shunning the speed bias and the off-going to score by open lengths in 1:49 1/5, the fastest mile of his career.

Sent off as the 3-5 betting favorite, Sintra relaxed off the early fractions as Roll Away Joe cut the first-half markers in 27 1/5 and 56. Driver Brett Miller put Sintra on the move before the half and quickly reached and overtook the pacemaker with a sparkling 26 3/5 third quarter. Into the stretch it was a one-horse affair with Sintra exploding home with another 26 3/5 quarter. Western Fame finished second, with Awesomeness third in the initial $50,000 division.

Dave Menary trains and co-owns Sintra along with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero.

"He was a good horse all along," Menary said. "He had to battle Betting Line all year last year, and he was lightly-staked. He's got a high turn of speed and can carry it."

Check Six went wire-to-wire in the second $50,000 Graduate division. Yannick Gingras guided the Ron Burke-trained 4-year-old through fractions of 27 4/5, 55 4/5 and 1:23, holding off a determined Boston Red Rocks in a 1:49 3/5 mile. Missile J, the 3-5 favorite, followed cover but offered no response late and had to settle for third.

Check Six, a 3-1 offering, is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, W. Switala and J. Martin.