East Rutherford, NJ — Ian Moore’s first Meadowlands Pace win came in a way he never experienced victory before in a major stakes — by disqualification.
Lawless Shadow was declared the winner of Saturday’s (July 17) $700,000 Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-old pacers after Charlie May was disqualified for causing interference coming out of the final turn at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Charlie May was first across the finish line, a neck ahead of Lawless Shadow, over a “good” surface in 1:48.3 in the rain at the Big M. But Charlie May was placed ninth for interfering with Rockyroad Hanover and Abuckabett Hanover as he came three-wide and momentarily went off stride heading into the stretch.
Lawless Shadow was elevated to first, with favorite Perfect Sting second and Southwind Gendry third.
It was the first Meadowlands Pace win for Moore and driver Mark MacDonald.
“I never won a big race on a setback before, but I guess we’ll take it,” Moore said.
“He’s a real nice colt. I prepped him for this all along. We were hoping to come here and I’m glad we did now, for sure, even in the pouring rain.”
Lawless Shadow led the field to the first quarter in :25.3 before Perfect Sting took command on his way to a :53.2 half. On the backstretch, One Eight Hundred, who was second at the quarter-mile point, went off stride because of broken equipment.
Charlie May followed the cover of first-over Southwind Gendry as the group raced to three-quarters in 1:21.3. Lawless Shadow was third in the stretch and battled with Charlie May and Perfect Sting to the wire.
“I kind of feel bad for (Charlie May’s driver, Brett Miller); he’s a good friend of mine,” MacDonald said. “It was just a bad situation there. But I think if my horse gets out a little sooner, I might have won anyway. It’s still a win, but you hate to kind of win like that.”
Sent off at 5-1, Lawless Shadow paid $12.40.
Lawless Shadow finished second by a neck to Southwind Gendry in last week’s Meadowlands Pace eliminations.
“We came to race,” MacDonald said. “Ian told me the first week, we brought him here to race, (so) let’s put him in play. So, that’s what I did.”
Lawless Shadow, who caused a delay to the start of the Pace when he returned to the paddock for a shoe repair, won for the fourth time in seven races this year and eighth time in 16 career starts.
The colt has earned more than $620,000 for owners Moore, R G McGroup Ltd., Frank Cannon, and former Montréal Canadiens star Serge Savard. He was bred by Seelster Farms and was the 2020 O’Brien Award winner as Canada’s best 2-year-old male pacer.
Prior to the Meadowlands Pace eliminations, Lawless Shadow finished third in an Ontario Sires Stakes division at Woodbine Mohawk Park. His previous races were against older rivals in conditioned events in Ontario and Ohio.
“All his races prior to the weekend before we came here were with aged horses; he did very well, as we expected,” Moore said. “I was a little disappointed with his last start in Ontario, but he got beat by a really good colt up there, Bulldog Hanover.
“There’s another (Ontario Sires Stakes) Gold next weekend, so we’ll see how he comes out of this and go from there.”
Total handle for the 14-race program was $4,503,213, marking the second occurrence of Meadowlands Pace Night handle eclipsing the $4.5-million mark in the past 13 years. Bettors wagered $677,992 on the Pace itself, representing the highest handle for The Meadowlands’ signature event for 3-year-old pacing colts in the past decade.
Racing at The Meadowlands resumes Friday (July 23); first post is 6:20 p.m. (EDT).