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Roll With Joe Captures Meadowlands Pace

Saturday, July 16, 2011  By: Standardbred Canada

Roll With Joe Captures Meadowlands Pace

Roll With Joe captured the 35th edition of the $1 million Meadowlands Pace on Saturday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack providing his connections with a thrill of a lifetime.

The Ed Hart-trained Roll With Joe and catch-driver Ron Pierce swept to command ahead of Wink N Atcha (Yannick Gingras) at the :26.1 opening quarter before elimination winner Custard The Dragon and 20-year-old Montrell Teague, the youngest driver to start in the ‘Pace’, launched his attack from third. Custard The Dragon swept to the top past the :53 half-mile mark and reached three-quarters in 1:21 with Roll With Joe swelling up in the pocket. Pierce tipped Roll With Joe to the outside at the top of the lane and surged to victory in a career-best 1:48.2. Big Jim (Phil Hudon), the other elimination winner and fan favourite, rallied wide after getting away sixth and closed well for second, missing by a neck. Wink N Atcha finished third with Foreclosure N (Tim Tetrick) and Powerful Mist (Andy Miller) fourth and fifth respectively.

"I hadn't driven him before, but Eddie told me last year that he had a really nice colt. Then when I was named to drive him I was very happy," said Pierce, who also won the Meadowlands Pace aboard Well Said (2009), Art Official (2008) and Dreamaway (1997). "Several people called me up and told me that this colt can really go. He was better than everybody thought he was, I can tell you that. He was as slick as they come. He really felt super.

"I was [sitting an anxious two-hole]," he explained. "I almost didn't let the boy [Montrell Teague and Custard The Dragon] cross over because this colt felt so good. I felt like just leaving him out there, but I figured I'll let him cross over and see what happens. The longer I sat in there - it was the same thing with Art Official - the more this colt swelled up so I just kind of tipped him out and I knew I was going to go by him. I was just worried about them catching him from the back. I thought I had enough to hold [Big Jim] off because I really hadn't hit this colt hard yet."

Roll With Joe, the North America Cup runner-up, notched his third win in six seasonal starts and fifth lifetime boosting his bankroll over the million dollar mark to $1,106,740.

"He had an excellent week. He trained good and he's been very good all along," said veteran trainer Ed Hart amidst the winner's circle celebrations. "He was the best. Pierce drove his super and put him in the race. We had real confidence and I'm just thrilled. I can't believe it. I've been at the Meadowlands all my life since it opened and to win this race, I can't believe it."

The son of Cams Card Shark out of the Hall of Fame mare Classic Wish is a full-brother to 2001 Meadowlands Pace runner-up Bettors Delight and a half-brother to millionaire No Pan Intended, who finished fourth in the 2003 edition. The $100,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Stephen Demeter and the Not To Worry Stable of New York along with breeder Winbak Farm of Chesapeake City, Maryland.

"Well first of all, I have to say hello to Joe Thomson [of Winbak Farm], who bred one hell of a horse,” commented Mike Kimelman of Blue Chip Bloodstock. “I'm sure when we're done we'll figure out where to put him really close to his older brother. But for us, it's all about racing horses at the greatest venues and creating champions."


"That's what makes harness racing great,” said Blue Chip Bloodstock’s Tom Grossman. “A bunch of guys who love harness racing were at the sale. The horse had a big ankle. Joe had a $300,000 colt that was going to bring $70,000 or $50,000 if we weren't there and five guys that loved to race and dream about being right here right now bought the horse and that's why harness racing is great. And we got a guy here who just gave him hay and oats for two years and here we are. This guy [Ed Hart] has been banging on the door for a long time and got a lot of bad breaks and here we are. This is why harness racing is a wonderful sport.

“We were patient and we knew we had a big horse and he liked to be raced tough," he added. "And Eddie just stayed patient and had an eye on the prize because he's been around the block a bunch of times and Mike helped us too. We weren't trying to have a good horse, we were trying to have a great horse and we're still trying to have a great horse. We're one big step closer."


"It's the best win of my life and this is what it's all about. God bless everybody here,” concluded Demeter.


Roll With Joe paid $12.60 to win as the 5-1 third choice in the field.

North America Cup champion Up The Credit, with Brian Sears in the bike, prevailed by a neck over High Noon and Pierce in 1:50 in the $100,000 consolation for trainer Carl Jamieson, who co-owns with Thomas Kyron of Toronto, Ont., Brian Paquet of Quebec, Que. and Joanne Morrison of Beeton, Ont.

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