Trainer Mark Harder thinks history could repeat itself in 2013.
Golden Receiver and driver Tim Tetrick are 3-for-3 this year, including victories in the first two rounds of the Presidential series. Last weekend, Golden Receiver led from start to finish on his way to a 2-1/2 length win over Modern Legend in 1:48.4.
The $103,500 Presidential final is Saturday night at the Meadowlands. The card also includes the $67,400 Clyde Hirt series final for 4-year-old male pacers and the $51,000 Super Bowl series final for 4-year-old trotters.
|Golden Receiver has banked $1.64 million in his career.|
Last year at the age of 7, Golden Receiver won 13 of 25 races, earned $941,025 and was harness racing’s fastest older male pacer with a mark of 1:48. In addition to winning the Presidential, he captured the Spring Pacing Championship at Woodbine plus the Graduate, U.S. Pacing Championship and William Haughton Memorial, all at the Meadowlands.
“The way he’s acting, the way he looks, I don’t see any reason why he can’t come back and do pretty close to what he did last year,” Harder said. “That’s wishful thinking, maybe. As far as being sound, he’s as sound as he’s ever been in his life. I don’t see why he can’t do it.”
Golden Receiver enjoys racing at the Meadowlands. Since July 2011, the gelding has made 16 appearances at the North Jersey oval, winning 13 times and never finishing worse than third. He has won five consecutive Big M starts dating back to August and only a neck loss to We Will See in an invitational prevented his streak from being eight.
“He obviously likes it here,” said Harder, who trains Golden Receiver for owners Our Horse Cents Stables and Nina Simmonds. “He doesn’t race on the half-mile tracks, so we’ve got to take advantage of the racetracks that we can take advantage of.”
Golden Receiver and Tetrick will start the Presidential from post seven. To Golden Receiver’s inside, from the rail, are Fred And Ginger, Dial Or Nodial, Second Wind N, Malak Uswaad N, Versado and Mr Hasani N. To Golden Receiver’s outside are Meirs Hanover and Modern Legend.
Versado joined Golden Receiver in winning opening-round divisions of the Presidential. Versado won by a nose over Dial Or Nodial in 1:49.4. Golden Receiver won by 1-1/4 lengths over Fred And Ginger in 1:49.
“He’s as good as ever; maybe a little better,” Harder said. “He’s had the bit in his mouth for a couple of weeks now; he’s pretty fresh and feeling good about himself going into it, that’s for sure.
“(Racing against him) is pretty intimidating, and now it’s probably even more intimidating with the way he’s been going,” Harder said. “Do you want to leave into him, because he can outstep you off the gate? Do you want to come first over to him? It’s a tough decision for those other drivers. But I’m sure someone is going to poke off the gate pretty good with us.”
Following is the field in post position order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Fred And Ginger, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 2. Dial Or Nodial, David Miller, Jim Campbell; 3. Second Wind N, Eric Carlson, Peter Tritton; 4. Malak Uswaad N, Ron Pierce, Tritton; 5. Versado, Andy Miller, Nick Surick; 6. Mr Hasani N, Corey Callahan, Darran Cassar; 7. Golden Receiver, Tim Tetrick, Mark Harder; 8. Meirs Hanover, Gingras, Burke; 9. Modern Legend, John Campbell, David Drew.