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‘Peelers’ and Pace Top Saturday’s Big M Card

Wednesday, July 13, 2011  By: Mike Farrell

‘Peelers’ and Pace Top Saturday’s Big M Card

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ--Ten gentleman and one fabulous filly headline the Saturday night card at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

The $1 million Meadowlands Pace, the track’s signature event, would normally be the unquestioned attraction. This isn’t your normal year, however, and See You At Peelers  (Bettor’s Delight) isn’t your typical filly.

Harness racing’s brightest star, See You At Peelers is undefeated in 19 starts. She tops the $127,000 Tarport Hap for 3-year-old pacing fillies, staged four races before The Pace. See You At Peelers could be a tough act for the boys to follow.

The biggest night of the year at the Big M also includes a pair of $166,000 Stanley Dancer divisions for trotters getting in their final tune-ups before the $1.5 million Hambletonian on Aug. 6.

In a nice nostalgic touch, Carl LeCause presided over the draw for The Pace. LeCause drove and trained Escort, winner of the first Meadowlands Pace in 1977. The purse back then was $425,000, a record for the sport at the time.

Big Jim (Western Ideal) and Custard The Dragon (Dragon Again) earned the right to select their posts with their elimination wins last week.

Big Jim won the two-horse draw to determine the first overall pick. Owner Jim Carr took the second slot, saying it was driver Phil Hudon's preferred post. Big Jim, last season's champion 2-year-old pacer in the U.S. and Canada, was later tabbed the 2-1 favorite by oddsmaker Dave Brower. He won the fastest of the two Pace eliminations last week in 1:50. Custard The Dragon, who has post No. 3, took the other elimination in 1:50 2/5.

A winner of 9 of 16 races and over $1.2 million, Big Jim is a perfect 3 for 3 at the Meadowlands.

"I don't know if he loves this one more than any other track because I can't speak for him," Carr said. "He's had the lead in all three races here from the opening quarter on, and hasn't relinquished it. He's a competitive horse and he knows what racing's all about."

Montrell Teague, the driver of Custard The Dragon, selected post No. 3, the same starting point as in last week's eliminations.

Teague, 20, will become the youngest driver in Pace history. He will steer the colt for his father George Teague,Jr. who also trains two other horses in the field: Feel Like A Fool (Art Major), 12-1 from post No. 4 and Wink N Atcha (Dragon Again), 15-1 from post No. 5.

Saturday at the Meadowlands. The Meadowlands

Pace. Pace. $1 million

Post Horse Trainer Driver Odds

1 Westwardho Hanover Pinske B. Miller 15-1

2 Big Jim Dean Hudon 2-1

3 Custard The Dragon G.. Teague M. Teague 4-1

4 Feel Like A Fool Teague Sears 12-1

5 Wink N Atcha Teague Gingras 15-1

6 Powerful Mist Givens A. Miller 5-1

7 Betterthancheddar Coleman D.Miller 10-1

8 Roll With Joe Hart Sears 6-1

9 Foreclosure N Steacy Tetrick 15-1

AE Sir Ziggy’s Z Tam P. Lachance M. Lachance

AE High Noon Takter Pierce

As the 4-1 second choice, Custard The Dragon will finally gain some well-earned respect. He was 8-1 two starts ago when he captured the Hoosier Cup at Hoosier Park. The price actually went up for the Pace elims to 11-1.

“I’ve very surprised,” Montrell Teague said when asked about the huge prices. “We’re still trying to gain respect. I’m sure it will end if we win this one but I don’t understand why we’re always the underdog.”

Westwardho Hanover (Dragon Again) got the rail. The colt is co-owned by Pinske Racing and recent Hall of Fame inductee Jim Simpson, the president of Hanover Shoe Farms. Jody Jamieson was freed to pick up this drive when Up The Credit (Western Terror), the North America Cup winner, failed to make The Pace final.

Feel Like A Fool was Brian Sear’s choice to drive over Roll With Joe (Cam’s Card Shark).

Wink N Atcha was third to stablemate Custard The Dragon in the Hoosier Cup and in last week’s Pace elims. He won 7 of 9 last year and was the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champio

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