04/21/2017 11:02PM

Meadowlands: Tuonoblu Rex triumphant in initial start of 2017

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Tuonoblu Rex could be a player in the free-for-all trot ranks based on his 1:52 1/5 victory Friday

Tuonoblu Rex, who won a Grade 3 race at Paris's Vincennes Racecourse as a 3-year-old, made both his 5-year-old and North America debut a winning one after an impressive first-over move carried him to a 1:52 1/5 score in the $20,000 preferred trot Friday night at the Meadowlands.

Millionaire Crazy Wow (Yannick Gingras), also making his first appearance as a 5-year-old and sent off as the 3-5 favorite, made his way past Opulent Yankee (Corey Callahan) for the lead past the 27 4/5 opening quarter, and after taking control, he would go on to reach the half in 56 2/5. Tuonoblu Rex (Andy Miller) got away third, and he would remain in that position until pulling first-over at the 1:24 4/5 three-quarters.

Tuonoblu Rex got side-by-side with Crazy Wow with an eighth of a mile to go, and although Crazy Wow was game and tried to hold his outside pursuer at bay, Tuonoblu Rex wore him down inside the final sixteenth, going on to win by half a length. Opulent Yankee came up the inside in the stretch and held third.

"We were very pleased with him," said trainer Julie Miller. "He definitely met our expectations tonight. Andy said he was perfect to drive. He has trained down great since arriving in the U.S."

The winner is a 5-year-old Cantab Hall stallion bred in Italy and now owned by Stable Why Not of Millstone Township, New Jersey. This was Tuonoblu Rex's seventh win from 15 career starts, and he has now earned $199,918. Sent off as the 2-1 second choice, he paid $6.40 to win.

Tuonoblu Rex is eligible for major stakes races later this year, including the Cutler, Cashman, and Maple Leaf Trot.

--quote courtesy of the Meadowlands--