This Saturday, world-class racing does not end with the Preakness as the Graduate and Arthur J. Cutler Memorial finals and first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers highlight a 13-race card worth more than $700,000 in purses at the Meadowlands. Post time is 7 p.m.
Undefeated in nine starts this season, Lucky Jim looms the one to beat in the $200,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for trotters. He is rated at 9-5 on the morning line from post two for the husband and wife team of driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller. Facing his toughest test yet, the 4-year-old gelding crushed a field of world champions with a 1:52.4 in the Cutler elimination last Friday. His nine-race streak is a record for the most consecutive victories in a single season by a trotter at the Meadowlands.
Arch Madness looks to rebound as the 3-1 second choice in the Cutler final. After back-to-back wins, Arch Madness finished seventh as the favorite in last week’s elimination race. He will start from post eight for driver Brian Sears and trainer Trond Smedshammer. Corleone Kosmos, the 2008 Cutler champion, is the 9-2 third choice from the rail. Making his second start of the season, Corleone Kosmos launched a first-over attack and finished third in the elimination. Ross Croghan trains the 7-year-old veteran, while John Campbell has the driving assignment.
Presidential Series winner Winbak Speed will take on the record-setting Bettor Sweet and eight more of the sport’s top free for all pacers in the $210,000 Graduate final. Winbak Speed, with driver Ron Pierce, received the nod as the 2-1 favorite from post three after capturing his Graduate elimination in 1:49 flat. The victory boosted his record to eight wins in 14 starts this season. Trainer Wayne Givens claimed the 6-year-old gelding for $30,000 in early 2008 and he has since won more than $400,000.
Bettor Sweet, coupled in the wagering with his stablemate Western Shore, is the 5-2 second choice after a dizzying 1:47.2 world record in his Graduate elimination. His clocking eclipsed the previous record for a 4-year-old gelding on a mile track, 1:48, set by Color Me Best in 1999. Bettor Sweet, trained by Joe Poliseno, has won two of seven starts this season. The son of Bettor’s Delight swept the Oil Burner Series with a 1:49.4 mile at the end of 2008, capping his sophomore campaign with nine wins in 17 starts. Bettor Sweet will start from post two with Campbell in the sulky.
The New Jersey Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers also kicks off Saturday night with a trio of $41,500 divisions. Berry’s Creek runner-up Drop Red is among the talented state-breds who will step off in the first of the events. He is listed as the 6-5 favorite from post four for driver George Brennan and trainer Bob Horowitz. The two-leg NJSS culminates in a $200,000 final on May 30.(Meadowlands)