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2018 Meadowlands Pace Winterbook Top 10Posted by Ken Warkentin
The 2018 Meadowlands Pace could be that one missing check mark on the Hall of Fame resume of Jimmy Takter, who will have strength in numbers, and maybe it'll be another milestone for driving juggernaut Scott Zeron, perhaps a second visit to the Pace winner's circle for trainer Tony Alagna, will veteran Joe Holloway finally get his due, or will The Bionic Man and super sire Somebeachsomewhere add to their growing list of Pace champions? This is our 2018 Winterbook Top Ten.
Number one by a whisker is Lost In Time, from the first crop of 2012 Pace winner A Rock N Roll Dance. In his second start for Jimmy Takter, the Metro winner outmuscled Breeders Crown champion Stay Hungry and equaled his mark of 1:50.1 in a gutsy Governor's Cup Final. Takter tinkered with his equipment and acknowledged Lost In Time is the real deal.
Trainer Tony Alagna sailed with The Captain, two-time Pacer of the Year and 2013 Pace champion Captaintreacherous. Alagna will be salivating for another Pace trophy with the aptly named Stay Hungry at a very close number two, a $150,000 Somebeachsomewhere colt, who capped a four-race winning streak when he rallied for a Breeders Crown upset and just missed in the Governor's Cup.
Another Somebeachsomewhere colt could give trainer Joe Holloway that elusive Pace trophy. At number three is Closing Statement, who took a mark of 1:50.4 in the Elevation at Hoosier Park, finished third in the Breeders Crown and second in the Matron Stake with two-time Pace winner and Hall of Famer Brian Sears at the lines.
Jimmy Takter has a backup plan with Nutcracker Sweet at number four, a Bettor's Delight brother to Sweet Lou and Bettor Sweet, who reeled off back-to-back Grand Circuit wins at The Red Mile and took a mark of 1:50.2. Tim Tetrick notched his fifth Pace win in 2016 with #1 ranked Huntsville and guns for a half dozen.
Trainer Mark Harder will forever be linked with the longest shot in Pace history, Holborn Hanover in 2004. Harder might be trying to reclaim those glory days with Springsteen at number five, a son of 2010 Pace runner up Rock N Roll Heaven, a late season purchase, impressive in the Matron Stake and an explosive Governor's Cup elimination winner in 1:50.4.
2008 Pace runner up Somebeachsomewhere looks for a Pace repeat and his third Pace winner, and Points North adds to his 2018 treasure trove at number six. For the down-under connection of rising star Andrew McCarthy and trainer Nifty Norman, Points North was the king of the Kindergarten Classic Series, winning the final in 1:51.
Add another Somebeachsomewhere to this list and Hayden Hanover at number seven deserves a long look for Team Orange Crush, on the board in nine of 11 starts, he took a mark of 1:50 in an International Stallion Stake division at The Red Mile, finished second in the PASS Championship and just missed in the Metro from post ten.
The connections of American History believe he's their best prospect since Captaintreacherous.
The late-blooming American Ideal colt at number eight stepped up to finish third in the Governor's Cup in only his fifth career start and this Brittany Farms-bred Tony Alagna trainee has the world at his doorstep.
Jimmy Takter adds a third to our Top Ten and it's another by A Rocknroll Dance in the form of Grand Teton at number nine. A 1:51.4 performer bred and owned by Diamond Creek Farm, Grand Teton made a name for himself in KYSS.
The late Somebeachsomewhere sends out half the field in our top ten and Karpathian Kid caps it off for trainer Erv Miller, hitting the board in 10 for 13 starts, including a mark of 1:50.1 in Red Mile Grand Circuit action and won a Breeders Crown elimination in 1:51. This kid will look to step it up even further in what's shaping up to be a 2018 Meadowlands Pace that goes through the powerhouses of Takter and Alagna on the greatest night in harness racing, Saturday, July 14that Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment.