01/11/2012 9:45PM

Series action takes center stage at the Meadowlands


With the second week of action at New Meadowlands comes a parade of series races for pacers and trotters of both sexes. From Thursday through Saturday, round one action begins for five events, each culminating in a rich final on the racing week of January 26.

The festivities begin on Thursday with five splits of the Super Bowl series for 4-year-old trotters and two divisions of the White Ruffles for mares, also 4-year-olds but on the pace. The Super Bowl and White Ruffles, both for late bloomers which had not won two races or $30,000 lifetime by 12/10/11, typically make for interesting wagering events as shippers and new acquisitions come out of the woodwork to post big efforts. Fortissimo and Fax Me are two examples of longshot shippers from 2011 which posted $30-plus prices on the toteboard. Fortissimo came from the Meadows and Fax Me from Balmoral Park.

While the pair of White Ruffles races appear to be more straightforward, all of this year’s Super Bowl races provide more questions than answers. Many contestants are coming off of qualifiers, returning from long layoffs, or shipping in from the Midwest or Canada. There is clearly value in the Super Bowl if you can read between the lines.

(Meadowlands Thursday Analysis)

Four-year-olds continue to hold the spotlight on Friday as pacing stallions and geldings take to the track in the Clyde Hirt series for horses which have not won 3 races or $75,000 through 12/10/11.

Perhaps the early favorite to take home honors in the estimated $75,000 final is Mickey Hanover. The Rene Allard trainee shipped into the Meadowlands last week and posted a 1:51.4 victory despite facing the breeze while uncovered on the rim.

Others in fine form are Special T Rocks (three straight wins) and Cam B Zipper, a winner of over $212,119 lifetime who gets into the series because two of his four wins came after the cutoff.

In total, four divisions of the Clyde Hirt will be contested on the same 11-race card in which the track debuts a new mini-series for $7,500 claimers at the distance of 1 ½ miles. Fourteen pacers go behind the gate in the first installment of this weekly added-distance event. The top earners from all the legs will return in the final on March 23.

(Free Friday Past Performances)

The marquee for the next few weeks at the Meadowlands will belong to the Presidential series, a Free For All event for the top pacers currently in training. Saturday’s 12-race card features two divisions of the Presidential along with a duo of Complex series events for non-winners of 4 races or $125,000 lifetime through 12/10/11.

Three millionaires are signed on to this year’s edition of the Presidential, which has the looks of a wide open affair on paper. Vintage Master leads the 18 entrants (split over two 9-horse fields) with $2,122,113 in the bank during his five years of racing. Nine-year-old elder statesman Western Shore and Annieswesterncard are the other millionaires.

Of the 21 horses carded in the Complex, few stand out on form quite like Itrustyou. The 4-year-old son of Third Straight-Dynamic Lady has won seven straight races over three different tracks for trainer Ron Burke. Itrustyou, who will start in the first division, is one of four Burke trainees in the series.

Post Time for the Meadowlands on all three nights is 7:00 PM.

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