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Stakes mark for Mission Brief in NJSS final
Saturday, July 12, 2014 - by Carol Hodes, for the New Jersey Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association

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East Rutherford, NJ---Guess Whos Back fired off cover while Mission Brief exploded with a gate-to-wire, stakes-record performance in $100,000 finals of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotters on Saturday (July 12) at the Meadowlands.

Mission Brief [$2.60, $2.40, $2.10] broke her own stakes record of 1:55.1, with a 1:53.3 mile in the second race, besting a field of six other trotting fillies, by a winning margin of 13-1/4 lengths.

Lisa Photos
Mission Brief set a stakes record in winning her NJSS final in 1:53.3.

The outcome was never in doubt as Yannick Gingras guided the Ron Burke trainee to her second win in three starts.

With the daughter of Muscle Hill, out of the Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena, racing on an uncontested lead, the battle was for second and Dynamite Dame by Muscles Yankee edged out Rules Of The Road by Muscle Hill, who was third by 14 lengths.

A $150,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Mission Brief lifted her earnings to $69,750 for the Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi.

Guess Whos Back came from off the pace and tipped five-wide in the stretch and pulled away to a one-length victory in the event for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings, the first race.

Guess Whos Back (5) won his NJSS final in 1:56.1.

Brian Sears positioned the son of Muscles Yankee-Shes Gone Again third over on the backstretch and tipped him five-wide in mid-homestretch to catch 8-5 favorite French Laundry.

Guess Whos Back, who paid $6.40, $4.00, $3.00, was a one-length winner over 3-1 Canepa Hanover with 99-1 Mountain Top a length and three-quarters in third. Both are by Muscle Hill.

The 1:56.1 mile was a lifetime best for Guess Whos Back, trained by Nikolas Drennan and racing for Joseph Davino of Clarksburg, N.J., and Brad Shackman of Calgary, Alberta. The $90,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase now has a bankroll of $70,250.

Western Ideal progeny sweep pacing finals

A pair of Western Ideal youngsters, Artspeak and Stacia Hanover, scored in the $100,000 finals of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacers.

Artspeak [$3.40, $2.80, $2.40], a son of Western Ideal, captured the New Jersey Sire Stakes for pacing colts and geldings in 1:52.3, finishing a 1-3/4 lengths ahead of Hurrikane Ali, by Rocknroll Hanover. 

Dealt A Winner by Cam’s Card Shark was an early breaker who reconnected with the field and got up for third by 2-1/2 lengths.

Artspeak, driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Tony Alagna, was sent off as the 3-5 favorite and did not disappoint, picking up his second win in two career starts.  A $100,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase, he races for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The Gym Partners. 

In the 13th and final race of the night, Stacia Hanover took command early and held the lead at every call, extending her unbeaten streak to three with a career-best 1:53.4 mile.

Scott Zeron guided the Western Ideal filly, who is trained by Steve Elliott and races for Ohioans David Van Dusen and Michael Ciamaglio, who purchased her for $35,000 at the Harrisburg Sale.

Stacia Hanover returned $3.40, $2.40, $2.10, finishing a length and a quarter ahead of Cashaway, who was a half length ahead of Ideal Nuggets.  All three are by Western Ideal.

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