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Father Patrick, I Luv The Nitelife qualify at Meadowlands
Saturday, July 26, 2014 - by Nick Salvi, for Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment

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East Rutherford, NJ --- The final edition of Breakfast With The Babies for the 2014 season began on Saturday (July 26) morning with Hambletonian favorite Father Patrick getting in some prep work in advance of next Saturday’s big dance.

His performance did nothing to encourage any Hambo fence-riders that may have been considering buying a $15,000 ticket to that dance. Yannick Gingras gave him a tour of the oval in 1:52, back half in :54.4, last quarter :26.2, about as easy as it could be done. It looks like “all systems go” for team Father Patrick.

Chris Tully photo
I Luv The Nitelife held off Bakersfield in a 1:53.2 mile.

Last year’s champion 3-year-old filly pacer I Luv The Nitelife made her return to the races this morning in winning fashion for owners Richard and Joanne Young. She has been nursed back to the races by trainer Chris Ryder after her season ending injury last fall and she looked sound and happy in her 2014 debut.

Driver Tim Tetrick settled the mare in third through a slow :57.2 half, moved her on the last turn to a stretch lead, then flashed her grit by refusing to yield to the late challenge of Bakersfield with a :27.1 close to the 1:53.2 mile.

A pair of Meadowlands Pace finalists teed it up in the last race of the day and Lyonssomewhere got the best of JK Endofanera here by sprinting home in :26.2 on the end of a 1:51.1 mile. Trainer Jimmy Takter put the speedy colt on the lead through friendly fractions and had enough to rebuff JK Endofanera’s close.

As far as the freshmen, Habitat, a speedy Conway Hall-Habit's Best colt that had made a pair of breaks in NYSS action recently, impressed with an effortless 1:55.3/:27.1 win with Yannick Gingras aboard. Ron Burke trains the colt for himself and partners Weaver Bruscemi and Our Horse Cents Stable. The group paid $50,000 for Habitat at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale last fall.

Trond Smedshammer won a couple this morning, the first with a nice Yankee Glide out of Calchips Finisher named Finish Line. He sat a pocket to first timer Sugarmakesmecrazy and Ake Svanstedt, nailing that one in the final strides of the 1:58.1/:28.1 mile. He was a $50,000 Lexington buy for Trond’s American Viking Stable, Diane Giuliano and Purple Haze.

Trond came right back with the Andover Hall-Chez Belle filly Chezando, closing ground into a :28.4 final quarter for the 2:00.4 score. She cost Purple Haze and Michael Parisi $70,000 at Lexington last fall.

The last of the freshman trots fittingly saw Jimmy Takter win in 2:00.1 with French Laundry, a good Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi colt who won a NJSS event in 1:56 a few weeks ago. He just held off the impressive closing rush of the $175,000 Cantab Hall-Domestic Diva colt Colbert, who was making his very first start for Svanstedt.

Pacers came around in the tenth race and ASAP Hanover won for the third time in morning trials, this one in 1:52.4 with Tim Tetrick driving. Linda Toscano trains the $150,000 Lexington sale colt by Somebeachsomewhere-Allamerican Coed for John Mehlenbacher. He has impressed and improved in each of his three outings. This time Tetrick put him on the lead and sprinted home in :26.4 in hand. Penji Hanover paced home hard to be second.

Trainer Tony Alagna had a good day beginning with the 11th where a pair of his pacing fillies went to the wire together with Cashaway tracking down Martinique in the final strides to get the 1:54.1 win. Cashaway was second in the recently contested NJSS final for Tim Tetrick, who drove the Western Ideal-CPA $105,000 Lexington sale grad for owners Brittany Farms and Marvin Katz.

New Jersey Sires Stakes champion Artspeak got some work in this morning, leading all the way and drawing off late in 1:53.2 over the pocket sitting Stover. The winner also hails from the Alagna barn with Scott Zeron doing the driving for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners (John Fodera and Steve Wienick). Racing manager Myron Bell bought the Western Ideal colt out of The Art Museum for $100,000 in Lexington on their behalf and it certainly looks as though they’ve got a good one here.

A Plus completed the Alagna natural hat trick by winning in 1:54.1/:27.3 with Zeron aboard. She’s an American Ideal filly out of the Brittany broodmare Has An Attitude that Tony bought for himself with partners In The Gym, Tangie Massey and Joe Sbrocco for $60,000 in Kentucky. Better Said was a good second here with a late move for Toscano and Tetrick.

Ed Hart’s nice Cam's Card Shark-Lazan Hanover colt Dealt A Winner prevented an Alagna-slam when he held safe over Tony’s closing Rock On The Hill in 1:54.2 for Brian Sears. Jeff Snyder owns the winner, a $35,000 Harrisburg bargain buy last fall.

Live racing resumes at 7:15 p.m. Saturday evening with the John Cashman Memorial eliminations headlining the 13 race card.

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