Meadowlands Hosts Kindergarten Finals

Published: November 12, 2022 11:15 pm EST

Saturday night (Nov. 12) at The Meadowlands featured some of the sport's developing talent competing for big money in four finals for the Kindergarten Classic, a race with finals for two-year-olds of each gait and sex.

Bond and driver-trainer Ake Svanstedt shunned post 10 and made two strong moves to win the $279,290 Kindergarten Classic Final for two-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday night (Nov. 12) at The Meadowlands. 

When the 10-horse field left the gate, Svanstedt guided Bond freely to the front to score a :26.4 first quarter into the turn. Instagram Model and Heart On Fire followed at the pylons while Mambacita rushed after Bond on the outside and took over the lead. Svanstedt, with Instagram Model looming to move off the pegs, took Bond out again to pass Mambacita and command the field to a :55.3 half.

Bond’s nine rivals stepped lively to keep up with the big favourite as she stayed smoothly in front to a three-quarter mark in 1:24. The back of the pack clearly fought tough as the early chasers behind Bond tired while she showed no signs of letting any filly pass her after the two engaging moves. Bond owned the mile to score her fifth straight win, this one in 1:52.3 – a lifetime mark – and gamely earned by a nose. Three wide late to pick up second was Heart On Fire, followed by four-wide Quick Stop and another longshot in Wild Jiggy S.

“She was really fast,” Ake Svanstedt said after the race. “I was the first one before the turns. That horse is good. I had a feeling before that she’s fast, but I’d never left so fast before [with her]. She felt tired in the stretch, but she fought. She really wanted to win.”

Bond, a daughter of Southwind Frank, paid a generous $3.60 to win and spiked her earnings to $361,447 for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC and L. Berg Inc.

Svanstedt also said after the race that Bond’s next start should come in the Goldsmith Maid, which is part of the Fall Final Four and TVG Finals extravaganza card on Saturday, Nov. 26 at The Meadowlands.

Volume Eight and driver Andrew McCarthy trounced nine of his peers in a blowout victory of the $268,180 Kindergarten Classic Final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings.

The time for the mile was 1:52, a lifetime mark that was one-fifth off the track record set by Dont Letem in 2018.

McCarthy sat in fourth with Volume Eight as the field left the gate with Up Your Deo, Some Kinda Crazy and Purple Lord before him. Early shuffling resulted from a :27 first quarter as Purple Lord took the overland route to get the top only to lose it quickly to Volume Eight, who surged around him approaching the turn to begin his dominant performance.

Volume Eight cut three-quarters in 1:25, making his foes breathless in the stretch as he ate real estate to break the beam at 1:52 and win by 8-1/4 lengths. Purple Lord struggled but kept the second spot while Some Kinda Crazy dug in wide to settle for third and Southwind Admiral took fourth.

The blowout for Volume Eight followed a fierce effort in a Kindergarten prelim last week where he recovered from a first-turn break and recouped double-digit lengths to win in 1:55.3.

“Two starts before last, we launched him pretty good, so I think he had that in his mind and I was trying to teach him something,” Andy McCarthy said of the colt’s break in his last start. “He had other things in mind. I was trying to make him do something he didn’t want to do and he made a little miscue, but he’s classy enough to catch himself back and get it done. He’s pretty slick, as you’d seen tonight.

“I had him in a headlock the whole way down the stretch,” McCarthy also said on the colt’s effort Saturday. “He was wanting to go a little more. He’s still got another race left, so I was trying to save a little bit. He wants to do his job, that’s for sure.”

Noel Daley trains the son of Chapter Seven who has now earned $234,536 by winning his fourth in a row. Daley co-owns the colt with Sjoblom Racing, Joe Sbrocco, LA Express and JAF Racing and Mario Mazza. He paid $3.20 to win.

Andy McCarthy also said after the race that Volume Eight’s next race will be in the Valley Victory, which is part of the Fall Final Four on TVG Finals night at The Meadowlands on Saturday, Nov. 26.

Driver David Miller poised Loubet into a second-over position and nursed his speed in the straightaway sprint to nail a 1:49.3 victory in the $233,970 Kindergarten Classic final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

Blue Hunt bolted from post eight to the point into a :26.4 first quarter as Save America, the 4-5 favourite, peeled from the pegs and swept to the lead in the backstretch. Save America tried to snag a breather to a :55 half while Goldin Greatness readied to flush first over to the far turn with Loubet keeping close in behind.

Once activated, Goldin Greatness marched forward to within a length of Save America passing three-quarters in 1:23.1. Save America held his ground spinning for home and dug deep to keep Goldin Greatness at bay. All the while Loubet revved off cover and gathered his momentum down the center to hit his best stride in the final eighth. Loubet slid to the lead as Save America folded and held a 1-1/2-length advantage past the beam over a pylon-skimming Blue Hunt. Goldin Greatness fought to finish third and Ants Marching rallied for fourth.

“He was on the left line pretty good there,” David Miller said after the race. “Right off the gate, I got Dexter [Dunn on Goldin Greatness] on me and Yannick [Gingras on Save America] got in front of him, and then I figured Yannick would re-move and I would have live cover. It was working out great until the last turn – he just was bearing out too much… enough to where Todd [McCarthy on Ants Marching] slipped out in between us. But he was strong enough to get the win anyway. The horse just raced tremendous.”

Ron Burke trains Loubet, a colt by Sweet Lou who bagged his third win from four starts. The win padded his bankroll to $129,237 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Michelle Yanek and Philip Collura. He paid $6 to win.

Odds-on favourite Charleston braced for a pair of challengers in the final quarter but failed to withstand the fresh legs of Bellisima Hanover, who burst from the pocket and claimed the cash in the $238,810 Kindergarten Classic final for two-year-old pacing fillies.

Driver Todd McCarthy asserted Bellisima Hanover onto the helm and clicked a :27.3 first quarter. Charleston then swung out of third and brushed to lead before a :55.3 half while Cultured pulled first over from fourth and steadily progressed towards the front.

Charleston posted three-quarters in 1:23.4 and quickened for the drive with Cultured to her outside and Bellisima Hanover antsy in behind. The pacesetter maintained control into the eighth pole, but came under serious pressure as Cultured drifted and opened a gap for Bellisima Hanover. Bellisima Hanover readily launched between horses to land a final-stride blow on Charleston and take a neck victory in 1:50.2. Cultured finished third and Cantgetuoutamymind took fourth.

“I kind of thought I was in a great spot there until the top of stretch there,” Todd McCarthy said after the race. “It wasn’t looking so promising, but we were lucky enough to shake loose late and she certainly surged to the line. I was looking for anywhere I could go, but I was fortunate enough that Cultured got a little tired and drifted up the track, and I was able to squeeze through the little gap there. But when I did, she certainly surged forward and found the line very well.

“She’s been so good, and earlier in the season there she put down some big miles,” McCarthy also said. “She had a couple off runs, but full credit to Tony. He got her back and spot-on tonight, so it was a good way to get toward the end of the season with her anyway.”

Bellisima Hanover notched a third win from 11 tries in her campaign and deposited to an account now worth $220,557 for owners Riverview Racing, Alagna Racing, Caviart Farms, Daniel Plouffe and S. Head. The daughter of Captaintreacherous returned $11.80 to win.

A LITTLE MORE: Todd McCarthy and Yannick Gingras were the top drivers on the night with three winners apiece. Trainer Ron Burke took the conditioner’s colony to school on Kindergarten Series finals night with four winner’s circle trips.

Just over $41,000 in “new money” was added to the $5,000 carryover in the 20-cent Pick-6, and those who had all six correct walked away with a payoff of $3,487.32.

All-source handle busted the $3-million barrier as $3,085,385 was pushed through the windows on the 14-race program.

Racing resumes Friday (Nov. 18) at 6:20 p.m. (EST).

(With files from The Meadowlands)