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Roll With Joe Rolls In Meadowlands Pace

Saturday, July 16, 2011  By: harnessracing.com

Roll With Joe Rolls In Meadowlands Pace

Ron Pierce rolled with Roll With Joe out of the gate in Saturday night's $1 million Meadowlands Pace final at the Meadowlands, and the strategy paid off as the 3-year-old son of Cam's Card Shark scored an impressive 1:48.2 victory, While the win was Pierce's fourth Meadowlands Pace victory--and third in the last four years-it gave veteran trainer Ed Hart his first winner with just his first-ever Pace finalist.

Leaving from post eight--the most successful post in Meadowlands Pace final history--Pierce was caught wide going through the first turn with Roll With Joe as his driving peers looked for position with their charges. Turning into the backstretch Pierce accelerated Roll With Joe and he cleared the lead from early pacesetter Wink N Atcha and driver Yannick Gingras. Meanwhile, betting favorite Big Jim and driver Phil Hudon were waiting in midpack.

The lead was short-lived for Roll With Joe as Montrell Teague moved Custard The Dragon from third with a rush, clearing at the :53 half. Around the final turn Pierce edged to the outside with Roll With Joe to take aim at Custard The Dragon, and the two were side by side at the 1:21 three-quarters.

Roll With Joe took the lead turning for home as Hudon swung Big Jim wide. Pacing a final quarter of :27.1, Roll With Joe had enough left to hold off the hard-charging Big Jim by a half length. Gingras ducked Wink N Atcha back to the inside in midstretch and the move paid off with a third-place finish.

"He was better than everybody thought he was," said Pierce, who has now won a race with a purse of $1 million or more in each of the past six years. "He really felt super. I thought I had enough to hold (Big Jim) off (in the stretch."

Trainer Hart said of his colt, a full brother to 2001 Meadowlands Pace runner-up Bettor's Delight and a half brother to No Pan Intended, fourth in the 2003 Meadowlands Pace: "He was the best. Pierce drove him super and put him in the race. He had confidence in him. To win this race, I can't believe it."

Roll With Joe, who last month finished second in the $1.5 million North America Cup at Mohawk, is owned by Tom Grossman and Mike Kimelman's Blue Chip Bloodstock, Scott Kimelman and Sheila Baird's Not To Worry Stable, Stephen Demeter, and breeder Winbak Farm, which repurchased an interest after the colt sold for $100,000 at the 2009 Lexington Select Yearling Sale. Roll With Joe's dam is the Hall of Fame broodmare Classic Wish, who died a few months ago.

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