East Rutherford, NJ--Sweet Justice might just be the next star for trainer Bruce Saunders and he didn’t break the bank. The 3-year-old gelded son of Justice Hall went through the sales ring at The Harrisburg Mixed Sale as Hip No. 2011. He left a $25,000 purchase by Bruce Saunders for M&M Harness Racing.
Since the sale, Sweet Justice has done nothing but win, literally. He has made three starts at the Meadowlands, all of them wins, each time moving up the class ladder.
Friday night (Dec. 14), he defeated older horses for the first time in 1:52 with Dave Miller in the bike. Since the sale, Sweet Justice has earned $23,000 in three starts.
It was one of the biggest upsets in the past decade, when Arch Madness defeated Donato Hanover in the Breeders Crown Elimination for 3-year-olds at the Meadowlands on Nov. 17, 2007. That win by Arch Madness established a track record for 3-year-old gelded trotters at the Meadowlands, a record that stood for six years and 26 days until Sweet Justice took to the track Friday night at the East Rutherford oval.
Sweet Justice's career began far from the spotlight of the Meadowlands, racing for Steve Carter on the Indiana Fair circuit. His first win came in his second lifetime start, but wasn't close to any records, winning in 2:13. In short time, Sweet Justice made it to the pari-mutuel races. The highlight of his 2-year-old season was a second-place finish in the $200,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Gold Final at Indiana Downs.
Sweet Justice made his 3-year-old debut on May 8th of this year at Hoosier Park and battled his way through the Indiana Sire Stakes program, picking up minor awards, including a fifth-place finish in the Sire Stakes Gold Final at Hoosier.
Prior to being entered in the Harrisburg Mixed Sale, Sweet Justice scored a pair of victories, including a 1:54.1 lifetime best effort in a three year old Open at Hoosier.
Despite entering the sale with over $180,000 in earnings, when the gavel fell the sales price read just $25,000. The buyer was Bruce Saunders for M&M Harness Racing. Since Sweet Justice walked into the sales ring at Harrisburg, everything has gone right.
He made his Meadowlands debut in qualifier, flashing strong late kick, coming home to a third-place effort with a 27-second final quarter. He won his first pari-mutuel start at the Meadowlands by a neck in 1:54 before moving up the class ladder to win a B2/B1 Handicap by open lengths in 1:53.4. That brings us to Friday night, where Sweet Justice moved up to face older horses. Not only did he show grit and determination, refusing to relinquish his lead in the stretch, but he tripped the teletimer in 1:52 flat, lowering the previous record for a 3-year-old gelding, held by Arch Madness by two-fifths of a second.
The human star of the night was Ron Pierce, who grabbed four wins on his way to a vacation in Montana, including the nightcap, scoring at 15-1 with Lexus Artist for trainer Jim Clouser.
Scott Zeron’s arrow continues to be pointed upward as he scored another driving double, including a 40-1 shocker with Kilted Pride for trainer Carmen Auciello, the second time that tandem has scored this meet. It was also the second time Zeron didn’t know he won, as he headed back to the paddock, but had to turn around and get his picture taken.
Andy Miller was a two-race winner as well.
Handle was up again over the last time the Meadowlands raced on this date in 2010. The total handle showed an increase of 34 percent, which is comparable to the increases being realized all season. In addition, the live handle was up 29 percent over that same race day in 2010.