08/19/2015 1:02PM

Vernon: Intimidate can rebound in Crawford Farms Trot

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Derick Giwner
Intimidate has won over $1.2 million in his career.

Last year’s TVG Trot final champion, Intimidate, got involved in setting the pace in the 1-1/8 mile John Cashman Memorial at the Meadowlands on August 8 and paid the price.

“The rail’s a tough place to start from in a mile and an eighth race with two trailers,” said driver Scott Zeron. “The front end really isn’t his game. But in those races you don’t have much of a choice when they end up six in and six out. He was good for the mile distance but flattened out after that.”

Intimidate returns on Friday night and Zeron figures to have more options available in the $200,000 Crawford Farms at Vernon Downs, having drawn post 10 in the second tier. The Crawford Farms, race nine of a dozen programmed at Vernon, will give Intimidate a chance to show what he can do while coming from off the pace. That was virtually assured when the posts were drawn. “It’s a great spot for him,” said Zeron. “I could follow out any of the inside horses I want to and he loves the long stretch.”

[ VERNON DOWNS: Watch the best older trotters and pacing mares at Vernon on Friday night--Live on DRF!]

Intimidate, a 6-year-old by Justice Hall, captured the 2014 incarnation of this event—then known as the Credit Winner—in flamboyant style coming from well off the pace and sizzling to the wire in a 1:51 clocking, a lifetime best.

While Intimidate hasn’t won thus far in 2015, Friday’s field may be just what the doctor ordered to put him in the winner’s circle.

“He was very good in the start before the Cashman,” said Zeron. “He was coming off racing five days earlier and he was very strong in the stretch.”

Cashman victor Flanagan Memory landed post three and has Brian Sears again in the bike riding a two-race win streak. The Ontario-bred son of Kadabra also does some of his best racing from off the pace.

Magic Tonight, this year’s Elitlopp winner, didn’t have it in the Cashman and faded in the stretch after being used a few times in the early stages. The 6-year-old by Andover Hall landed post five for trainer Roger Walmann.

Market Share and Tim Tetrick start from post four and will look to rebound from a disappointing outing in the Cashman. The winner of $3.7 million during his brilliant racing career, Market Share was used hard and succumbed in the stretch on Hambletonian Day, but has always shown a knack for bouncing back.

New York-based Obrigado hasn’t had much racing luck this year, winning just one time in 10 starts, but trainer Paul Kelley’s charge put in a determined effort finishing third in the Cashman despite a rather long journey. Mark MacDonald again has the assignment on Friday from post seven.

Zeron will also drive Rockin With Dewey in the $177,000 Muscle Hill for trotting mares, race seven on the program. “I got her a little jammed up on the gate in the Fresh Yankee,” said Zeron. “Ben (trainer Baillargeon) really likes her.”

Rockin With Dewey drew post one in a field that includes Bee A Magician (post five) and her Fresh Yankee conqueror D’One (post seven).

The 26-year-old Zeron doesn’t have a drive in the Artiscape for older pacing mares, but he’ll certainly be watching with interest as four-time Pacing Mare of the Year Anndrovette heads a field of 10 vying for $194,000. The $3.4 million career earner starts from post seven as the 5-2 morning line choice along with coupled stablemate Venus Delight.

The Vernon card also features eight NY Sire Stakes events and the Jack Bailey Memorial. First race post time is 6:45 p.m.