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News and Insight On Winbak Farm

Read below for the latest on Winbak Achievements and graduates. Stories are from the leading industry news sources.

Born to Win

Wednesday, August 10, 2011  By: Gen Sullivan

Born to Win

East Rutherford, N.J.—How would you celebrate if you’d just won your first $1 million Meadowlands Pace?

If you’re trainer Ed Hart, who was responsible for Roll With Joe’s 1:48.2 upset of elim winners Custard The Dragon and Big Jim Saturday, July 16, you accept a lot of congratulations and winner’s circle hugs, pose for a lot of happy pictures, then take your wife and daughters upstairs to the Meadowlands President’s Room for a celebration.

Then you’d come downstairs only to find you’ve sent your car keys home in your trainer’s bag with the truck and trailer.

“We had to call my guy and have him come back and get us,” laughed Hart. “He was not happy and we were the last people in the parking lot, sitting on the curb, waiting.”

While he was waiting for his ride, Hart had lots of time to reflect on his winning Meadowlands Pace debut.

Roll With Joe had finished fourth in the Pace elim won by Custard The Dragon, but he did pace home in :26.1.

Finishing fourth meant that his connections could not choose their post position and Roll With Joe drew post eight.

Then driver Brian Sears, who was familiar with the colt, opted to drive the George Teague trainee Feel Like A Fool. Hart then named Ron Pierce to drive his colt.

“When Brian (Sears) chose Feel Like A Fool over our horse, I was more than happy to get Ronnie,” said Hart. “It’s not just because he’s won it so many times (three of the last four); it’s also because we’ve been good friends for a long time.”

Bred by Winbak Farm, Roll With Joe is a blue-blooded son of Cam’s Card Shark and the recently-deceased Classic Wish and had every right to be in the Meadowlands Pace. Roll With Joe is a full brother to Bettor’s Delight, who lost to Real Desire by a nose in the 2001 Pace, and a half brother to No Pan Intended, who finished fourth in the 2003 edition. He more than lived up to that pedigree by winning by a gutsy neck in 1:48.2 while holding off the late charge post time favorite Big Jim.

Sent off at 5-1, Roll With Joe and Pierce battled Wink N Atcha and Yannick Gingras to the lead by an opening panel :26.1, then stung Custard The Dragon and Montrell Teague at the half in :53 before grudgingly yielding and accepting the pocket.

Big Jim and Phil Hudon were out and following Betterthancheddar and David Miller. But with Betterthancheddar struggling, Big Jim was still sixth and a non-threat at that point in the mile.

Winging by the three quarters in 1:21, Pierce and Roll With Joe opened up 1 1/4 lengths as Teague and Custard The Dragon began to fade. Hudon finally tipped Big Jim three wide, going quickly around Betterthancheddar who would eventually fade to 10th.

But Big Jim had too far to come and Roll With Joe held on for the win.

Big Jim was second with Wink N Atcha third. Wink N Atcha was the only one of Teague’s Pace starters to earn money in this race, as Feel Like A Fool and Custard The Dragon finished seventh and ninth, respectively.

For the lightly-raced Roll With Joe, the win was his third in five starts this season and a career-best time. An April injury delayed his return to the races, causing him to miss the New Jersey Classic. His biggest payday prior to the Meadowlands Pace was second to Up The Credit in the $1.5 million North America Cup at Mohawk in June. With his Meadowlands Pace win, his earnings soared to $1,113,127.

“I knew Ron had told me that he was going to have him up on his toes leaving the gate,” said Hart, who watched the race from the anonymity of a bench in Paddock Park. “And even though I knew he’d been peaking at the right time, because we’d been pretty much pointing him for this all along, I was still nervous when Big Jim started coming because my horse had been used kind of hard. When they got near the wire, I was yelling pretty loud.”

“I almost didn’t let (Montrell Teague and Custard The Dragon) cross over because this colt felt so good,” Pierce said.

“I felt just like leaving him out there, but I figured I’d let him cross over and see what happens. I did the same thing with Art Official. I tipped him out and knew I was going to go by (Custard The Dragon]) I was just worried about someone catching him from the back. I thought I had enough to hold Big Jim off.&rdqu

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