Meadowlands hosts freshman and TVG finals on Saturday

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

November 22nd, 2017

While many Americans will simply be looking to recover from a full day of feasting on Thanksgiving Day on Thursday and overzealous shopping on Black Friday, the Meadowlands will offer four lucrative TVG finals for two-year-olds of both gaits and genders and a quartet of TVG finals for older trotters and pacers.

In the third race on the card, the $175,000 TVG Final for Mare Trotters, Hannelore Hanover (Yannick Gingras) will look to put the finishing touches on a stellar campaign when she leaves from post four in a compact field of four. Hannelore Hanover has won nine of 16 starts and earned just over $950,000 this year and she is among the leading contenders for trotter of the year and horse of the year, although idle sophomore filly trotter Ariana G is the early leader in the clubhouse for both titles. Emoticon Hanover, who sports a 5-3-3 slate and $385,000 bankroll from 12 starts, looms the main upset prospect in this TVG final.

Then one race later in the $350,000 TVG Final for older trotters, sophomore star What The Hill will look to join the argument for trotter of the year when he faces older foes Crazy Wow, Mambo Lindy and Dayson. What The Hill has won eight of 17 starts and banked $775,000 despite being disqualified from first and placed last in the $1 million Hambletonian final. Crazy Wow owns a 5-5-2 slate and $670,000 banked from 16 starts and could overtake idle Resolve for champion older trotter with a win.

Then one race later in the $380,000 Three Diamonds Final for two-year-old filly pacers, Kissin In The Sand, Rainbow Room and Youaremycandygirl all rate the top trio of juvenile pacing fillies. Youaremycandygirl has won eight of 10 starts and banked $715,000 this year for trainer Ron Burke, Kissin In The Sand has won seven of 13 outings and earned $225,000, while Rainbow Room, a daughter of Hall of Fame inductee and Maryland-bred standout Rainbow Blue, has won seven of 11 starts and banked $425,000 from 11 tries.

Then one race later in the $420,000 Goldsmith Maid final for two-year-old filly trotters, Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svandstedt) will look to put the finishing touches on an overshadowed stellar campaign - idle, unbeatean Manchego is the clear-cut division champ - when she seeks her ninth win in 10 starts this year. Hey Blondie, who owns five wins from 12 starts and banked nearly $300,000, Lily Stride and Seviyorum all merit upset prospects.

Then one race later the $175,000 TVG Open Mare Pace will likely go a long way toward determining the division champion. Defending heroine Lady Shadow, the reigning Maryland-bred harness horse of the year, seeks her sixth win from 14 starts this year against durable contenders Nike Franco N, Pure Country, Bedroomconfessions, Medusa and Blue Moon Stride. A win from any of this quintet of mares could vault that pacer to divisional honors. Lady Shadow has likely yielded the Maryland-bred title to Devious Man, who earned over $1 million.

Then one race later in the $410,000 Governor's Cup for two-year-old colt pacers, Breeders Crown hero Stay Hungry, a winner six times in eight starts, will look to secure division honors against a solid group of juveniles that includes Closing Statement, Metro Pace hero Lost In Time, Springsteen, Grand Teton and Nutcracker Sweet. Stay Hungry can clinch the title with a first or second-place finish, but a sharp score by Lost In Time will vault him back into contention.

Then one race later in the $380,000 Valley Victory for two-year-old colt trotters, Wolfgang, Samo Different Day, Fourth Dimension, Fashion Creditor, Hat Trick Habit and Tito will look to separate themselves from the pack in this wide open group.

Then one race later in the $350,000 TVG Final for older pacers, Dealt A Winner, All Bets Off, Check Six, Mach It So and McWicked all have a chance to score here and perhaps overtake idle division leader Keystone Velocity, hero of the $530,000 George Morton Levy final at Yonkers Raceway, the $500,000 Ben Franklin final at Pocono Downs and more recently the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway in 1:47.3. All Bets Off was second in the Potomac after winning the $250,000 Dan Rooney Pace at Yonkers and finished fourth in the Breeders Crown final. Mach It So was third as the choice in the Breeders Crown and fourth in the Potomac but won the Preferred at Dover Downs last week. McWicked was second in the Breeders Crown final and earlier won the $225,000 Jim Ewart at Scioto Downs after several unlucky trips in Canada, while Dealt A Winner was third in the Potomac Pace after posting prior scores at Lexington at Tioga Downs in sub-1:48 clockings.