05/14/2016 11:41AM

Meadowlands: Sophomore stars appear in qualifiers

Derick Giwner
Southwind Frank won his second qualifier Saturday morning at the Meadowlands, halting the clock in 1:54

Dan Patch Award winners Southwind Frank, Boston Red Rocks, and Broadway Donna led the winners in qualifiers on Saturday morning at the Meadowlands. Conditions were perfect with clear skies, no wind and temperatures in the 60’s at go time.

Last year’s top freshman colt Southwind Frank made his second appearance of the spring and was an easy 1:54 (27 second final quarter) winner for driver Yannick Gingras. Settled third through the 29 second opening quarter, Southwind Frank was moved to the front and set the balance of the fractions while finishing well-within himself a few lengths in advance of Jack Vernon and Brooklyn Hill.

Friday’s New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) are a logical starting point for Southwind Frank, who became the fastest 2-year-old colt trotter ever with his 1:52 2/5 win at The Red Mile last fall and is the heavy winter book favorite for the 2016 Hambletonian. He is trained by Ron Burke on behalf of his Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stable and J&T Silva Stable.

The top two trotting fillies of last season met in the opener and went to the wire together with Dan Patch Award winner Broadway Donna (Dave Miller) just getting up to nail Breeders Crown winner All The Time (Gingras) by an inch in 1:55 2/5.  The pair sat third and fourth until the top of the stretch when All The Time rose up to challenge mile cutter Seaside Illusion.  Broadway Donna followed All The Time's cover, then fanned off it as they trotted home as a team in sub 27 second last quarters. 

Both are homebreds, All The Time races from the Jimmy Takter barn for owner/breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld while Broadway Donna is trained by Jim Campbell on behalf of Jules Siegel’s Fashion Farms.

It’s shaping up to be a fun season for the sophomore pacing colts as a few division leaders impressed the small but faithful legion of spectators this morning.

Boston Red Rocks looks like he’s ready to defend his Dan Patch title with a 1:51 / 26 1/5 airing out for Tim Tetrick. He set the pace through a comfortable 57 second half, then took off, widening his margin as Tetrick pleased.  Steve Elliott trains the NJSS eligible for Peter Blood and Rick Berks.

American Passport served notice that he’ll have to be dealt with this season, blasting home in 25 4/5 to complete a 1:51 3/5 mile with Scott Zeron a statue in the sulky. He sat a pocket to Katie’s Rocker, ripped out as they straightened up, and was eager through the stretch. To Katie’s Rocker’s credit, he held well for second in his first seasonal appearance. Brittany Farms, Riverview Racing, Jodi Siamis and trainer Tony Alagna own the winner.

Talk Show looked really good today as well. He showed flashes last season, battling the best colts, but was often difficult to manage and wound up in the wrong spot a lot. After some tutelage at the Steve Elliott winter camp for the unruly and a critical change or two, Talk Show was a gentleman this morning for Zeron. He patiently sat a pocket to Racing Hill and when a seam developed between that one and the first-over Ideal Rocky, Talk Show zipped by in hand. He races for the Pegasis Investment Group, Team S Racing and W. Garofalo.

Crazshana sharpened up for the Graduate Series with an easy 1:53 / 27 2/5 win from the pocket for Dave Miller, looking strong through the stretch. 2013 Hambletonian winner Market Share was out this morning for his second qualifier after a good long rest and acquitted himself well, setting solid fractions on the lead until Crazshana slipped past late. The winner is trained in the Jeff Bamond, Jr stable for Bamond Racing, LLC.

--press release (Meadowlands)--