01/19/2018 5:17PM

Meadowlands: Trainer Andrew Harris sends a Hi-5 out on Saturday


When Andrew Harris entered five horses for the Meadowlands Saturday program he expected to have some live prospects. On a positive note is the streaking Obscene Blue Chip, a winner in two of his three starts at the Meadowlands. On the down side was learning that two pacing mares for which he has high expectations managed to get into the same class.

“I was hoping to get Elm Grove Inarush into the non-winners of $11,000 class,” said Harris. “I wasn’t happy when I noticed Cousin Mary in the same race.”

These are the facts of winter racing at The Meadowlands, as a limited supply of horses has forced some classes to be combined in order for races to fill.

Harris has been nothing but pleased thus far with Obscene Blue Chip, an altered son of Western Ideal that came to the Meadowlands in mid-December with just one victory through an entire 3-year-old campaign. “We bought him off Ron Burke for $15,000,” said Harris. “We were just looking for a good non-winners horse to race at Yonkers.”

Sent off at a healthy 85-1 from post four in his Meadowlands debut, the public was hardly convinced in the gelding. But Harris had his own feelings on the subject. “I told Tyler (Buter, his driver) that the horse would be good in this class. He really didn’t have much chance racing at Yonkers from the outside posts. Whenever he drew inside he raced well.”

Obscene Blue Chip made a last-to-first move in the homestretch scoring in a career best 1:52 2/5 mile. The gelding returned two weeks later with a solid second-place finish again coming from the back of the pack. Last Saturday in Obscene Blue Chip’s first start of 2018 he was even more convincing, making a bold move on the backstretch for driver Austin Siegelman and romping by more than five lengths in the non-winners of 4 races class.

On Saturday Obscene Blue Chip steps up to race with older horses in a non-winners of $8,875 in last 5 starts race, but Harris appears undaunted. “We’ve been racing him from off the pace because I think that’s worked for him. But now that he has some confidence I don’t think it would hurt him to leave a little,” Harris said.

With Elm Grove Inarush (post 5) and Cousin Mary (post 10) both in race 6, a non-winner’s of $15,000 in last 5 starts event, Harris has two legitimate chances at victory.

“She (Elm Grove Inarush) was actually pretty good in her last start at Yonkers,” said Harris. As for Cousin Mary, “One of these days she’s going to get to the front end and set a lifetime mark.”

“She’s such an honest little horse. It really doesn’t matter how you race her. Corey (Callahan) told me if he gets out a step earlier she would have won last time,” Harris said of Cousin Mary, who gets to start from the outermost post for the second straight week.

Allstar Partner (post 7) steps up in class a bit in race eight, a non-winners of $15,000 in last 5 starts affair. “His game is really the five-eighths mile track,” said Harris, with recognition that both eastern Pennsylvania tracks of that measurement are currently on hiatus. Still Allstar Partner has plenty of class and enough early foot to be a factor.

In Brickman, Harris’ entrant in race nine, a non-winners of $5,000 conditioned event, the trainer is hoping for good things if not this week than most definitely down the road. “He suffered an injury after we claimed him,” said Harris of the 6-year-old Brickman. “He’s come back pretty well and I’m very happy with him. I think over time we’ll get him back up in class.”

Brickman also landed post 10 in the ninth race on the card.

Brickman and Obscene Blue Chip are both owned by Ronald Seigfried. “He’s a new owner, a guy who was gambling on horses and he called me last year looking to get into ownership,” said Harris. “His first horse was Sure Fired Bet that we did well with last year before he got claimed. He also bought a yearling (Miss Me Much by Art Major) that I’m training.”

Harris said that he plans to race Obscene Blue Chip at The Meadowlands until the conditions become too tough and then return to Yonkers.

The Meadowlands offers 14 races on Saturday night’s program with first post at 6:35 p.m.