12/03/2015 12:30PM

Meadowlands: Spagnola tries to keep the streak alive

Trainer Kyle Spagnola has won seven of nine races at the current Meadowlands meet.

Trainer Kyle Spagnola is off to a fast and furious start to the new Meadowlands meet this fall and he hopes to continue his winning ways this weekend. The young trainer based in the Saratoga region has caught the eyes of all sharp handicappers as he has won with regularity with a mix of trotters and pacers.

“I think most of the horses were dropping in class coming from Pocono and Saratoga,” said Spagnola. “Some of my horses needed the big track.”

Spagnola cited Ashley’s Husband, an impressive 1:50 winner in his Meadowlands return on November 28, as just that kind of horse.

“I gave him a month off because he really wasn’t racing up to expectations at Pocono,” said Spagnola. “You have to hang on to him a bit in the turns on the smaller tracks.”

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Ashley’s Husbands is no overnight success. Spagnola purchased him for owner W J Donovan early in his 3-year-old season and the altered son of Henry Clay has been a wonderful purchase, winning 13 times over the last two years.

“He’s more of a swallower,” said Spagnola, referring to the ferocious way Ashley’s Husband finishes a mile. In last week’s debut Ashley’s Husband rallied from sixth on the far turn to sweep the field.

This Saturday he’ll step up some in class starting from post two in the $17,500 Non-winners of $20,000 conditioned class carded as race eight on the 13-race Meadowlands program.

Giacodelight was one of few Spagnola trainees that missed the board in their Meadowlands return. The 4-year-old by Bettor’s Delight also landed post two in the evening’s seventh race, a $13,000 conditioned pace. “I think he was in a little tough the first time,” said Spagnola. “He can pace between 1:50 and 1:51 on the big track.”

Andrew McCarthy will drive Giacodelight against a competitive group.

On Friday night Spagnola has three horses entered and seemed fondest of Waiting On A Woman, a 7-year-old that has been rock solid in the $25,000 Open Handicap Trot, race eight on the night.

“I’m glad Corey (Callahan) chose him. He’s the type of horse that needs a certain driver that knows how to handle him,” said Spagnola. “My father bought him to race at Saratoga but Waiting On A Woman loves the big track.”

Spagnola said that his mother Margaret and dad David don’t like to ship horses and that’s why he has taken over the conditioning for Waiting On A Woman,  a horse purchased by Michael Polansky late in 2014 from the Ron Burke stable.

Waiting On A Woman faces a better group this week than he defeated in his last two starts with the addition of TVG finalists Master Of Law (post eight) and Handover Belle (post nine).

There were many in the crowd surprised last week by the performance of Ulster, a 4-year-old altered son of Glidemaster. Ulster went down the road in 1:53 1/5, a personal best with Andrew McCarthy along for the ride. Spagnola himself was hardly surprised and sounded a note of caution looking ahead.

“He’s a very fast horse,” said Spagnola, “But he’s the kind of horse that won’t try when he gets tired.”

Spagnola implied that at times when put to pressure or suffering from fatigue Ulster will break stride instead of digging in.

Ulster’s speed makes him a likely choice in the 12th race on Friday night, one of racing secretary Peter Koch’s “Dash For The “G” Notes” divisions that could provide for a good payday for the gelding if he minds his manners.

Spagnola’s impressive record as a conditioner has led many to seek him out and he picked up Miss Panthers just this past Sunday with trainer Joe Anderson not staying on the East Coast for the winter. “I’ve only had her for a few days,” said Spagnola of the 5-year-old trotting mare that landed post four in the third race. “I think she’s going to need a start.”

In 2015 Spagnola’s stable has taken off with 99 winners through December 1. Seven of those winners have come in his nine starts during the current Meadowlands meet.

Spagnola, now 24, has been around horses all of his life and as soon as he turned 18 embarked on a training career of his own. Now with 30 head, Spagnola trains over the five-eighths mile strip at White Hollow Farm.

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