Manalapan, NJ --- The winners of this year’s Harold Dancer Trot and Marion Dancer Trot will face off in the $30,000 New Jersey Futurity for 2-year-old trotters on Friday (Oct. 12) at Freehold Raceway.
King Muscles, the Harold Dancer winner, and Time To Kill, the Marion Dancer winner, both by Muscles Yankee, will meet in the New Jersey-sired restricted stakes, sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey.
Only four 2-year-olds were entered -- three fillies and one colt (King Muscles). The race will be contested as a non-wagering event at 12:15 p.m.
King Muscles, driven by Cat Manzi and trained by Aaron Lambert for J&T Silva Stables, recorded his first career victory in the $36,500 Harold Dancer on Sept. 20 at Freehold, taking a mark of 2:04. He has finished on-the-board in five of six starts, banking $70,805.
His biggest payday came with a second to Corky in the $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes final at the Meadowlands on August 17.
Time To Kill was second by a nose in her $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes final at the Meadowlands but responded in her next start, the $30,750 Marion Dancer on Sept. 6 at Freehold, to post her first win in 1:59.3. She returned to the winner’s circle in her next outing, an $89,250 Bluegrass division at Lexington’s Red Mile on Sept. 27, lowering her mark to 1:55.1.
Driven by John Campbell and trained by Ross Croghan, Time To Kill was second in her last start on Oct. 4 in a $98,100 International Stallion Stakes division, also at The Red Mile. She has now finished first or second in six of eight starts. Her earnings for Let It Ride Stables, Robert Cooper Stables and J&T Silva Stables has reached $133,500.
The New Jersey Futurity field, from the rail out with sire, driver and trainer: Connie Keeper, Muscles Yankee, Jim Marshall III, Christopher Freck; Partys On, Chocolatier, Harry Landy, Oyvind Hegdal; King Muscles, Muscles Yankee, Cat Manzi, Aaron Lambert; and Time To Kill, Muscles Yankee, John Campbell, Ross Croghan.
Friday’s card at Freehold also includes a $7,000 second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes-Green Acres for 3-year-old trotting colts. Carded as the seventh race, the stakes drew eight starters, including Melady’s Monet, the 5-2 morning line favorite.
Thursday’s card features three New Jersey Sire Stakes, including a $25,000 final for 3-year-old trotting fillies, the ninth race. Aunt Mel by Yankee Glide, winner of eight races this year, including the New Jersey Futurity for her age and gait, has the nod as the 2-1 morning line pick. Lifetime, the Erv Miller trainee has finished on-the-board in 19 of 31 starts and earned $257,845 for Mary Jane Anderson.
The co-features on the Thursday program are two $7,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies, the first and seventh races.
Nominal Hanover by Western Ideal is the 2-1 favorite in the first race while Light Of Day by Rocknroll Hanover is the 5-2 top pick in the seventh race.