East Rutherford, NJ --- The entire field was back. That was the theme for the quintet of trotters in the Friday night (Feb. 7) feature race at the Meadowlands, the $30,000 A-1/Free For All Handicap. When last raced, it was World Cup and Joe Bongiorno who stormed home to nail Daylon Magician on the wire, but on Friday night Daylon Magician was too elusive on the lead.
|Daylon Magician was a 1:53.4 winner for David Miller.|
Appearing headstrong under a hard hold by David Miller, Daylon Magician got to the lead past the opening quarter which was reached in just :28.2. From that point, Daylon Magician coasted through a :58 middle half, tripping the timer in :57.1 and 1:26.2 before sprinting home in a final quarter of :27.2 to hit the wire in 1:53.4, 1-1/4 lengths in front.
Not Afraid appeared to have a great deal of trot in the pocket but was unable to shake free late and was a hard luck second in the best effort of the year for him. Amigo Ranger rode the pylons to be third, while World Cup could not close into a slow tempo and finished fourth in what was a four horse place photo. Both Amigo Ranger and World Cup couldn't come home much faster, sprinting the final quarter in :27.
Sweet Justice took his shot on the far turn, making a powerful brush from last to first in an eighth of a mile, but could not sustain that bid and finished a tough fifth, beaten only 1-3/4 lengths for all the money.
The winner, Daylon Magician, now has lifetime earnings of $1,634,267 for owner Daylon Farms LTD and new trainer Mark Ford.
This was a key win for Daylon Magician with stakes payments upcoming for the most important trotting races at the Meadowlands, the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, John Cashman Memorial and TVG Free For All Championship.
Coraggioso was an extremely impressive winner Friday night, winning his second start back since July 26 in a powerful 1:52.4 triumph in a C-1/B-2 handicap trot, lowering his lifetime mark by a full second. The one time Hambletonian contender, driven by Andy Miller, is owned by Joseph Spadaro and longtime NYRA track announcer Tom Durkin and is trained by Julie Miller.
Perfect Alliance served notice as the horse to beat in the Charles Singer Memorial, which is where she is headed following her victory Friday night. She followed up her 1:53.3 blowout win last week with a game and determined victory, overcoming several obstacles.
She shied away from a breaker on the first turn, was parked for the opening three-eighths of a mile, found the pylons for an eighth of a mile and then went first over from the half-mile pole to the wire, winning in 1:54. Even more impressive, she did that racing with a flat tire on the sulky of Andy Miller for the back half-mile. Of the nine horses she defeated, five were Charles Singer Memorial eligibles.
Perfect Alliance gave trainer Julie Miller a double. She is owned by Little E LLC, Meadowlands General Manager Jason Settlemoir, David Stolz and Arthur Geiger.
Total handle for the night was $2,645,278. The Meadowlands was cancelled on this Friday in 2013 due to a winter storm. The $2,645,278 would be a 10 percent increase over the same night in 2012.
Racing returns to the Meadowlands Saturday for a 13-race card with post time at 7:15 p.m.