02/09/2018 2:52PM

Meadowlands: Veteran trainer Siegelman looks for weekend success

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Ken Weingartner/USTA Photo
Robbie Siegelman will send out six horses this weekend at The Meadowlands.

There are few in the sport today that question what trainer Robbie Siegelman does with his stable. For the longtime conditioner, having dedicated owners with 40 years of experience in racing has afforded him the luxury of time.

“We don’t race claimers,” said Siegelman, “So if our horses need time to recover that’s what we do.”

Siegelman will send out half of his racing stable this weekend at The Meadowlands, with a pair entered on Friday and four in the box for Saturday.

Perhaps the most interesting of the half dozen Siegelman has lined up is Cheyenne Triengel, a homebred 5-year-old making her first start in 2018.

“I was very happy with her qualifier. They went very slow the first quarter and she was at the back. She finished solidly and was within herself,” Siegelman said of the homebred.

Cheyenne Triengel drew the rail in Friday’s fifth race and certainly has a chance to compete at the non-winners-of-$5,500-in-last-5-starts level. What’s interesting about the mare is how she managed to earn $77K last year with but one victory. A career winner of a shade under $200,000, Cheyenne Triengel sports but a 1:55 2/5 lifetime mark taken at Yonkers.

“I would say that has a lot to do with the purse structure at Yonkers and the ability to race up the class ladder,” said Siegelman. “She did draw a lot of outside posts but she’s moved up from non-winners of 2 to non-winners of 8 and always seems to get a check.”

The earnings and the slow lifetime mark may belie the fact that Cheyenne Triengel may be a lot faster than she looks on paper. “She’s got a great attitude,” said Siegelman, “Right now we’re doing very well on the big track but she still fits the conditions at Yonkers.”

Siegelman was close to saying goodbye to Cheyenne Robin, who was entered in the January Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands. “She was entered but her hock filled up before the sale and we couldn’t race her,” said Siegelman.

The decision to take her out of the sale may have proven a blessing in disguise as the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover has been rock solid in her two 2018 starts. “She drew outside and had some tough trips but she’s headed in the right direction,” said Siegelman.

On Saturday Siegelman will send out a brothers’ act in the form of veteran Yo Cheyenne Rocky (post 5 in race 8) and Yo Apollo Creed, a lightly-raced 4-year-old in the third race.

“He’s got wicked speed,” Siegelman said of Yo Apollo Creed, a gelded son of American Ideal that has had to deal with various ailments in the course of his brief racing career.

“I was thinking of qualifying him a couple of times,” said Siegelman, “But when the race opened up on Saturday with non-winners of 2 drawing inside we decided to enter.”

Yo Apollo Creed’s two victories have both come at The Meadowlands including a 1:51 score.

As for Yo Cheyenne Rocky, the 9-year-old has had to overcome some major physical issues that sidelined him for over a year at one point. “Barry (owner Rubenstein) could have had him put down, the horse was insured for $50,000,” said Siegelman, “But instead he spent $40,000 in vet bills to bring him back to health.”

That time, patience and compassion has given Yo Cheyenne Rocky another chance, and judging from his most recent performances there seems to be a return to winning form. Yo Cheyenne Rocky steps up in class after a very easy 1:52 2/5 score last weekend.

Cheyenne Seeber drew the rail in Saturday’s 10th race and Siegelman believes this is the fastest of his horses if not the easiest to drive. “He’s a very funny horse to drive,” said Siegelman, not in a joking way. “You’ve got to get him involved early, either to the lead or close and to get a trip,” said Siegelman. “If you try him first over he’ll only give you so much.”

Cheyenne Seeber returns to the big track after a disappointing outing at Yonkers that Siegelman deflected as a trip that wasn’t in the horse’s best interest. “I think with the right trip at The Meadowlands in the summer this horse could pace in (1:)48 and a piece,” said Siegelman.

Southern Pursuit N arrived on these shores in July of 2016 and looked like a good one. “He paced in 1:51 2/5 in his first start at The Meadowlands,” said Siegelman. A week later the horse made a break and got cut up pretty badly. It’s been a long grind getting him back but Southern Pursuit N (post 5) has looked most impressive in the last couple of weeks.

“He was very good both times and could have won either race,” said Siegelman. The import gets a chance to regain winning form in the evening’s ninth race, a conditioned event for non-winners of $3,500 in last 5 starts.

Though Siegelman’s owners have bred and owned horses for a long time, they entered broodmare Cheyenne Adrienne’s (Yo Cheyenne Rocky) yearling in last year’s sales and Siegelman was the winning bidder at just $7,000.

“You know the mare has been incredible but this is the first filly she’s ever had,” said Siegelman. “I really like this filly.” The daughter of Yankee Cruiser will be eligible to the Ohio Sire Stakes program. The filly was renamed Mi Nina Bonita by co-owner Juan Vasquez in his first standardbred venture. “I never have any luck with naming horses,” said Siegelman, “So I told Juan you could name her whatever you like.”