07/08/2017 7:46PM

Meadowlands: Walner dominates in seasonal debut

Lisa Photo
Walner strides through the stretch of his race Saturday night at the Meadowlands

Defending Dan Patch and Breeders Crown winner Walner looks ready to roll for the rest of the year after missing time, taking the first start of his 3-year-old campaign, a $13,000 overnight event, on Saturday evening at the Meadowlands in a lifetime-best 1:51 1/5.

Regular pilot Tim Tetrick was at the lines, and after easing Walner away from the gate in third, he would move him up on the outside to clear Ice Attraction (Ake Svanstedt) before the 28 1/5 opening quarter.  Walner was basically in a race against the clock from that point, as he clicked off a half in 56 1/5 and a three-quarters in 1:23 2/5, opening up a five length advantage at that marker.  Walner would continue to cruise in the stretch, eventually reaching the finish line 7 1/2 lengths ahead of Sweet Thing (Yannick Gingras), with Winter Harbor (Scott Zeron) up for third.

Linda Toscano trains the victorious Chapter Seven colt for owner Ken Jacobs.  Walner is now eight-for-nine in his career, and he has earned $490,537.  The 1-5 choice, Walner paid $2.40 to win.

Walner will likely start again next Saturday in the Stanley Dancer at the Meadowlands.

Later on the card, another Dan Patch winner in mare pacer Lady Shadow (Gingras) was also victorious.  Prepping for next Saturday night's Golden Girls, Lady Shadow moved into the lead before the 27 3/5 first quarter, then hit the half in 55 2/5 and the three-quarters in 1:22 3/5.  A first-over Nike Franco N (Tetrick) gained ground through the lane, but Lady Shadow held sway to score by a quarter of a length in 1:49.

This was the 33rd career victory for Lady Shadow, who is closing in on $2 million in career earnings.  Perfect in five attempts this year, the 6-year-old daughter of Shadow Play is trained by Ron Adams for owners David Kryway, Carl Atley, Ed Gold, and Bfj Stable.  The 1-5 favorite, she returned $2.60 to win.