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News and Insight On Winbak Farm

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‘Joe’ Bests ‘Jim’ in Meadowlands Pace

Monday, July 18, 2011  By: Mike Farrell

‘Joe’ Bests ‘Jim’ in Meadowlands Pace

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ--Driver Ron Pierce worked his Meadowlands Pace magic once again, guiding Roll With Joe (Cam's Card Shark) to a neck win over Big Jim (Western Ideal) on Saturday night in the track's signature event.

Pierce won the $1-million race for 3-year-olds for the third time in the last four years. It was the fourth Pace win overall for the Hall of Famer.

Pierce picked up the assignment earlier this week when Brian Sears had a choice, and opted to drive Feel Like A Fool (Art Major).

That fateful decision put Pierce back in The Pace winner's circle. The 5-1 shot paid $12.60 to win for the fifth time in 15 starts. The time was 1:48.2. as Wink N Atcha (Dragon Again) got third.

Roll With Joe fired right into the early mix from post No. 8, the most successful starting slot in Pace history.

He conceded the lead to Custard The Dragon (Dragon Again) down the backstretch only to come swarming out of the pocket with a quarter of a mile to go.

"I was anxious sitting in the two hole as soon as the horse (Custard The Dragon) crossed over" Pierce said. "I almost didn't let him cross, because this colt felt so good. When I tipped him out, I knew I was going to go by. I was just worried about someone catching me from the back."

That someone was almost Big Jim, the 8-5 favorite. Wrestled back to sixth in the early stages, Big Jim was forced extremely wide on the final turn before finding his best gear.

"I would have rather been first up," said Phil Hudon, Big Jim's driver. "I had to go three deep around that big turn and that took a lot of momentum out of him. He paced right to the wire. It was just a bad-luck trip."

Unlike Pierce, who was again blessed by a lucky star as he won the Pace with a horse he had never driven before.

"Several people called me up and told me this colt can really go," Pierce said. "He was better than everyone thought he was."


 The win set off a raucous winner's circle celebration as the connections whooped it up. The colt is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock (Michael Kimelman and Thomas Grossman); the breeder Winbak Farm (Joe and JoAnn Thomson); Stephen Demeter and Not To Worry Stable (Sheila Baird and Scott Kimelman).

Sold for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, he is a full-brother to Bettor's Delight and a half to No Pan Intended.

Ed Hart, the man in the middle of the pandemonium, seemed overwhelmed by the moment. It was the trainer's first Pace starter.

"He had an excellent week, trained good," Hart said. "Pierce drove him super, put him in the race and had real confidence in him. I've been at the Meadowlands my whole life. To win this race, I can't believe it."

Roll With Joe also scored in the Somebeachsomewhere S. this year in 1:49.3. He was second in both the elimination and final of the North America Cup.

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